Rose Bretécher has OCD, but not as you know it. Pure is the true story of her life with intrusive sexual thoughts – a rampant but little-known symptom of the disorder. It tracks her farcical ten-year path to redemption, from the time she was first seized by graphic mental images to her eventual recovery through therapy, acceptance and love.
The book describes her obsessive questioning of her identity and her compulsive search for an answer: driving across the world in a double-decker bus; debating the respective erotic allure of Cherie and Tony Blair; watching Jake Gyllenhaal's face turn into a chubby vagina... Eventually, after stepping back from the iron railings of a snow-swept balcony in east London, she finds joy in the inescapable truth that when it comes to who we are, there are no neat conclusions.
At its core, Pure is about uncertainty and insecurity, and how trying to banish these things in the pursuit of happiness will paradoxically make us unhappy. It's about finding beauty in greyness, and embracing the unfathomable weirdness of the human mind.
"This book is written with such staggering honesty your jaw might literally drop at certain moments. This is a very welcome look at unwelcome thoughts and how minds can stage their own uprisings against us. There is pain here, but also a lot of humour and Rose writes with such dead-on frankness that you are gripped from the first to last page."
"Bright and funny . . . Pure is an enlightening read helping to highlight a form of mental illness that has been hushed up for so long."
"Bold and darkly funny."