By Tim Parks
Arcade, $24.95, 290 pages

Sex is Forbidden is relatable and funny. Beth Marriot, came to the Dasgupta Institute as a way to regroup and find what makes her happy. She is the star employee when it comes to helping out in the kitchen with meals, however, while working at the Institute, where one can’t make eye contact and speaking is kept to a minimum and men and women are strongly segregated, hence the title. The story starts when Beth finds a diary in one of the male visitors room’s. After realizing that she is low on a cleaning product, Beth really examines her own diary. As she reads the diary, we the reader, learn about Beth’s own storied and troubled history. I felt that Beth had gone through her own struggles, alternating between admiration and troublemaker, with little family support and having to run away to the Institute and working to find inner peace with complete strangers.

This is my first book, by Parks and I came away with the message was, ‘find your own inner peace by finding what makes you happy.

Reviewed by Annie Hicks

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