Ginger has spent most of her life trying to come to terms with her mother. Coco made her living as a stripper and now gives home instructional parties on the art of undressing, complete with sex toys. At age twenty-five, Ginger feels like their roles are reversed. She is the modest, career-minded one who believes that sex should be accompanied by love and a committed relationship. Coco is the opposite, championing free love and feel-good activities. What Ginger really wants to do is become a pastry chef. Through a lot of hard work, a scholarship, and a gift from her father, she
is finally able to go to culinary school and pursue her dreams.
But Gingerís dreams arenít so easily obtained. Her French instructor is constantly on her back, making her feel inadequate while praising other students in the class. She
is attracted to one of her classmates, but what will he think when he discovers what her mother does for a living? Will Ginger ever be able to lead a normal life?
The Art of Undressing looks lighter on the surface than it turns out to be. It
is deeper than your typical chick lit novel; however, it doesnít quite achieve the introspective depth that it strives for. The fact that Ginger and Cocoís roles in life are the opposite of the typical mother-daughter stereotype makes for an intriguing story. I really felt for Ginger as she wanted to break free of her motherís no-boundaries lifestyle and create a more structured one of her own.
Where The Art of Undressing doesnít quite measure up is that one never grows to care about Coco. There
are a couple of moments of humanity, but the reader waits in vain for her to learn some life lessons and
endure some consequences for her lifestyle and no-holds-barred approach to everything. Yet Ginger does learn some things about herself and really grows up, which provides some light at the end of the story.
A few recipes for the deliciously-described foods Ginger prepares would have been welcomed. But overall, The Art of Undressing has an interesting and unusual plot with likable characters.