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Book Review: Sad Sister by Florence Dugas

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It seems like erotica books that originate in France and make it to the North American market often are profoundly different than their homegrown counterparts. That is certainly the case with Sad Sister, a recently re-released BDSM-themed book written by Florence Dugas in 1996. This book professes to be semi-autobiographical, not a common feature in books of this genre, and it is written in the first person as a journal that includes notes by the author and her ex-lover at the end of some entries.

Sad Sister primarily recounts the BDSM ménage a trios activities of two female college students and a professor. The lean matter-of-fact narrative greatly mutes the erotic impact of diverse and fairly graphic scenarios that transpire. As a consequence the story has a sort of gritty and sordid feel to it. Overall, it is a dark tale of self-destructive behavior and debauchery largely driven by emotional dysfunction.

From a literary standpoint, this book is well written and thought provoking. It is an interesting and intellectually stimulating read. But as an erotic book it is somewhat less successful. For the most part the sexual relationships are portrayed as bleak and mean spirited. Some eroticism emerges but it comes at a price. I think it would be safe to say that this book would not be as likely to awaken dormant submissive or dominant proclivities in impressionable readers, as would other more accessible books in this genre.

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About Jim Lyon

Jim Lyon began writing erotica in the mid 1990s and served as story editor for the now-defunct Ownme.com before his first femdom-themed erotic novellas, Uncharted Territory and The Accidental Domme, were published as e-books by Sizzler Editions. Jim is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He left high school in his senior year to live the bohemian life in New York City's Greenwich Village and Lower East Side. Not being a big fan of cold weather and crowded tenements, Jim returned to the West Coast within six months and lived in Berkeley during the tumultuous mid to late 1960s and early 1970s. While there, his claims to fame include being folksinger Malvina Reynolds' neighbor/tenant and part owner of the Northside Theater, a repertory cinema of considerable renown. After leaving Berkeley, Jim put himself through college and earned a B.A. in Journalism from USC. His eclectic career since then has encompassed editing, writing, business management, social work, teaching, and web publishing, with stops in northern and southern California, Hawaii, Florida and Oregon.