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A tragicomic memoir about intrusive sexual thoughts by Rose Bretécher

This book is published, but you can still pledge for rewards!

Pure cover

The Synopsis

Rose Bretécher has OCD, but not as you know it. Pure is the true story of her life with intensive 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 bus; debating the 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.

The Excerpt

No-one could have guessed that something was going to explode inside me. I was a happy child.

I was the youngest of four kids in a big, Catholic family, and there was always dressing-up and water-fights and conkering and Captain Haddock; orphaned pigeons to break our hearts over and trips to pat the pigs down Pig’s Lane. I remember the electric hush when we saw a wild deer in the Wyre forest, and the low buzz of Dad’s voice through his back when he carried me, even though I was a bit too big to be carried. I remember Mom’s hand reaching from the front seat to stroke the chubby little knee behind her. How she’d rearrange my saggy socks without looking.

I remember the thrill of naughtiness when my parents’ backs were turned – the daily acts of gleeful perversion: mixing cat poo poison in jam jars; singing Gregorian chants over dead mice; pulling faces at Father John at the ‘body of Christ’ bit. And I remember the bums – me and my older brother Pat were positively enraptured by bums. We made sourdough bums; we drew bums on frosted windows; we painted faces on our bums and made sumo bums with our swimming trunks. On rainy afternoons we’d huddle under the bed with the neighbours’ kids and sniff each other’s fingers after a diligent bum-scratch, adopting the mannerisms of the most sincere sommeliers and applauding the hints and top notes. It became a game. We called it Smell Bums.

Our biggest brother Ted knew very well that he could elicit shrieks of delight from his younger siblings by mooning out of a bedroom window on Easter morning, or spelling ‘ARSE’ on the scrabble board, or farting during mealtimes. How we’d roll with laughter at Dad’s disgruntled face and booming reprimands: ‘You’re a DRAAAIN, Ted, a true vulgarian’.


The Reviews

This book has 1 review with an average rating of 4 stars.

Beautifully written, full of affection and love, wisdom too, and, above all, a very brave book. Works well with Abba playing, particularly 'The Visitors' album.

The Author

Rose is 29 years old and lives in London. Since graduating in English she’s been working as a freelance writer, creating feature articles, short film scripts, short stories and ad concepts. Rose’s work has been published by The Guardian, The Independent, Vice and Somesuch Stories. Pure is her first book.

Questions & Answers

Hi . I have a 15 year old daughter that i am extremely worried about that i believe has what you described and for that reason relates completely to your 3 part article that she read and came to me as her Dad with a glimmer of hope. She talks of ended it all and i am really concerned but feel that if you could perhaps advise us how we can get hold of your book or any other material for that matter than can give this child some relief . I will keep this brief for now in case its not you .. Rose that i am communicating with...Kind regards Marco

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Marco, thanks for getting in touch - this is Emily from Unbound, rather than Rose. I'm really sorry to hear about your daughter's experience. For information and advice it would be best to go straight to your GP as they would be in the best position to offer support.

It's worth mentioning that Rose's book is a memoir, rather than a self help book. It is in publication at the moment and will be available this autumn. If you're looking for something more immediate OCD Action and OCD UK are good sources of information. I hope this helps!

Laura Herlehy Laura Herlehy asked:

Hello Rose. I pledged to you book some time ago and I see my name in the book via my unbound profile but I never received my digital copy.

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Laura,

Thanks for getting in touch. To download your ebook just log in to your Unbound account and visit

Thanks for your support!

Hi I thought I'd bought the E book of Pure but I'm not very good on these sites. I believe I paid £15 Christmas offer but how do I find it to download least?

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Yvonne,

If you log in to your Unbound account you should be able to download the ebook from here: and you can check which books you have supported in your account here:

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

The Rewards

This book is now published. You can still pledge, but you won't get listed as a supporter in the back.

e-book edition and access to the shed
Special offer
1st edition hardback, e-book edition and access to the shed
signed 1st edition hardback, e-book edition and access to the shed
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Dedicated Edition
signed and personally dedicated 1st edition hardback, e-book edition and access to the shed
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Launch Party
two tickets to the launch party (dancing permitted and encouraged), signed 1st edition hardback, e-book edition, access to the shed and your name in the back of the book
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Original Artwork
everything up to launch party, plus original artwork
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  • Format: hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-113-5
  • Format: Signed hardback
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-113-5
  • Published: 09/2015