Five words from the blurb: intimate, body, provocative, taboo, hygiene
Wetlands is a provocative book that investigates all aspects of female hygiene. It contains graphic descriptions of bodily functions, including detailed descriptions of vaginal discharge and the after effects of rectal surgery. The central character is Helen, an eighteen-year-old girl who is in hospital after a shaving accident resulted in an infection “down-below”. Her parents are divorced and she thinks that if she stays in hospital they may get back together.
I was unsure about whether or not to review this on my blog as it was nauseating to read. It contained endless disgusting descriptions of everything from popping boils to leaving used tampons to sweat in a box. I’ve never read anything like it and was totally gripped by the shocking frankness. When I reached the end I realised that this is an important book. Why do I accept graphic sex and violence in books, but wince at the mention of vaginal discharge?
This book discussed many of the last taboos that exist within our society and, whilst I was repulsed by most of the things Helen did, it was fascinating to learn what goes on inside other people’s heads!
I picked this book up at my local library, where it was sat on a shelf of books that will be released as films in 2014. Having read the book I am amazed it is being turned into a film and can only imagine the divided response it will get! I’m not sure I’m ready to see all those bodily functions on the big screen, but if you have a strong stomach you’ll find this book different from anything you’ve experienced before.