REVIEW: THE DIAMOND CLUB
The Diamond Club is the thoroughly modern look at one woman’s transformation from a jilted ex-partner an ex-lover to a fully-realized, sexually-liberated woman. Brianna is like many twenty-first century women, caught somewhere between expectation and reality. She goes through an amazing and erotic transformation in the pages of this book, one that is honest and hard-hitting from cover-to-cover.
While gritty and sexually-intense, the book is a breath of fresh air, as well; in far too many stories the heroine takes a back seat in her own story to highlight the stronger male characters surrounding her. Not so, with The Diamond Club. Brianna takes charge of her life from beginning to end. I am not one for “smut” or “erotica,” but Brianna’s sexual awakening is so important to her survival of the horrible turn her life has taken, that the frank story-telling carries you through, breathless and anticipating each new encounter. Harkins-Bradley truly creates a fully-realized world of darkness and light, pleasure and pain, light spankings and more firm spankings.
The Diamond Club itself is like many women—nondescript on the outside, but a world of sensual complexity on the inside, a world that most people would miss if they walked by without taking a closer look. It’s also a metaphor for the western concept of purity and womanhood. Traditional western views of women rely upon the archetype of the virgin or the whore.
In this context, The Diamond Club itself would represent purity—clear, and valuable. Virginity has been prized in the modern world for centuries, above experience or the woman’s own sexual agency. A diamond itself has no intrinsic value, other than for being the hardest substance on earth. The real value of a diamond is a societal construct that finds the clear, rare stone more beautiful than other gems. So it is with a woman’s beauty and purity—what society finds beautiful is an ever-changing set of quantitative values derived from a paradigm driven by the male gaze. Purity is valued as above experience due to the ingrained cultural virgin and whore standard.
The genius of Harkins-Bradley is her ability to upend this archetype. Brianna is left by her former partner dirty, grimy and scuffed, like a piece of coal. It is through her experiences at The Diamond Club that she is hardened and pressed and purified into a diamond—she becomes more fully herself; sexually awakened and comfortable in her own skin the deeper she goes into The Diamond Club’s depravities.
As such, The Diamond Club asks us to take a critical look at the virgin-whore paradigm both sexist and irrelevant in the modern world. The Diamond Club tempers and purifies, changing all who enter, forever.
If you know what <> means, you know what this review is really about. Seriously. Seriously. For real. You know. You know. And you can be my friend.