Tuesday 23 January 2024

Exodai by Elizabeth Hendrick | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Genre: Memoir
Publication date: 18th September 2023
My rating: 5/5

Tonight, I am going to be tortured for the woman I love …

Elizabeth’s drives and desires have always been unusual. Beginning in early childhood, her need for love and suffering took her from the prim surroundings of a Norfolk girls’ school to the secret, latex-clad, rope-bound, whip-lashed delights of the Tokyo role-playing scene.

For Elizabeth, torture was not about sexual gratification – it was about love. In this frank and open memoir, she tells the story of a remarkable personal journey. Attracted to other girls from an early age, Elizabeth struggled to come to terms with her sexuality. As a schoolgirl, her fantasies of torture – always for the benefit of whichever girl she was in love with – were rooted in her own inability to accept herself as a lesbian or reconcile her desires with her Christian beliefs. Before finally realising that connection, Elizabeth would go through years of emotional and physical pain.

Having experimented at university, Elizabeth discovered a whole new world when her career as a high-flying headhunter took her to Tokyo. There she was inducted into the Japanese fetish scene and learnt what real role-playing was all about. When she fell in love with a gorgeous Japanese dominatrix called Tomo and became her slave, she began a descent into hell. Tomo proved to be an irredeemable sadist who took torture far beyond the accepted limits. Elizabeth went to the brink of destruction for Tomo. Not for the faint-hearted, this gripping memoir describes what she experienced there and how she found her way back.

TRIGGER WARNING: this book contains graphic descriptions of real-life sadistic torture.

Whenever I read a memoir or non-fiction book, I tend to read them slower than fiction and I am probably not in the minority when I say this. However, when I started reading Exodai, all of a sudden it was 2 hours later and I was halfway through. This is probably one of my favourites.

This book follows Elizabeth's life as a Christian, coming to terms with her sexuality which didn't align with the Christian values. She then discovers the world of BDSM in Tokyo. The novel runs much deeper and at times my heart ached.

There is a lot of discovery, self-reflection, realisation and it felt very eye-opening to me. Elizabeth poses the question of, where is the line? When does BDSM stop being BDSM and be real torture and how to do you know if you are submitting for the right reasons? The relationship with Tomo was hard to read.

This is such a brutally honest memoir with a lot of thought provoking and emotional aspects. It takes a lot to share a story like this so openly and publicly, thank you for sharing it with us, Elizabeth.

Thank you Literally PR for having me on the blog tour. You can find information about the other bloggers on the tour in the graphic below.

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