Addiction, Marriage & Falling Apart



By: Leila Slimani

Grade: C+

Okay, I admit the only other book or film I’ve watched about a character with sex education was Shame and while I thought it was really good I didn’t exactly watch that for learning purposes, you know? So I can’t speak to how this book deals with sex addiction per say but I think anyone whose dealt with any kind of addiction will recognize a lot in here.

Adèle’s addiction is ruining her life even if she doesn’t see it that way. She’s a married mother but when she gets the itch she’ll torpedo anything. That drive, that itch, that need to almost crawl out of your skin to get your fix is so uncomfortably on point. Heck even moments when Adèle has gone for a few days without and is convincing herself maybe she’s healthy before the next crash is relatable.

So I think the life of an addict overall is on poinèèt.

Points to Leila Slimani to-there is nothing remotely nice or sexual about the sex scenes. I found one stomach churning to be honest so I would definitely avoid this if that’s something that might upset you.

Slimani also doesn’t psychoanalyze Adèle she is who she is. Unfortunately even outside the sex addiction destroying her life she’s pretty damned unlikable. She thinks she’s better than most people and not meant for an ordinary life. I think the main part where I rolled my eyes was when she said she wanted to be a kept woman (who hasn’t though it occasionally?) but that her surgeon husbands money wasn’t good enough because it smelled like hard work.

Ha. Okay, honey. Whatever.

There are few other women in the novel and she’s not kind to them. Her closest female relationship is mainly an alibi for her husband and speaking of her husband he’s not all that likable himself. Maybe understandably but I don’t know what was worse his obliviousness to anything Adèle actually wants or his savior complex.

So between the content and the unlikable characters this was a rough one to read. I’m middle of the road on it but I can’t deny that it was well written and I will definitely pick up more from Leila Slimani in the future.

Recommend: 50-50. Really beware of the content in this one if you do decide to give it a go!


  1. Ever read anything by Chuck Palahniuk? He wrote Fight Club, if he sounds familiar. But his book, Choke, which is a great read, and one that I’d highly recommend. It is not graphic in content, per se, but there is nothing gratuitous. I heard they did a movie based on it, but I never saw it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yikes! This definitely sounds like a tough one… I’m glad that she didn’t sensationalize the addiction, and she didn’t make the sex seem pleasant! I’m not sure I could do this one… It would definitely be interesting for a “Sexy Sunday” just to analyze the sex scenes…

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  3. I think I stumbled upon this one once or twice but never felt like it was the right read for me… Not because of the sex content or anything like that, just the general plot and themes sound like something I wouldn’t particularly enjoy.
    Wonderful review, nonetheless! Too bad the good writing wasn’t able to smooth over the rough content…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve just read her other book Lullaby/The Perfect Nanny and it sounds like this is in a similar vein. I really like her writing and the way that she leaves things up to the reader to decide but I can totally see why other people found the subject matter too much to stomach!

    Liked by 1 person

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