Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Publication Date: February 9th, 2010
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Tender Morsels is a dark and vivid story, set in two worlds and worrying at the border between them. Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, a world given to her in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters grow up in this soft place, protected from the violence that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever—magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga’s refuge. Now, having known Heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side?
Anne Nesbet recommended this book to me after hearing me confess my love for The Kingdom of Little Wounds, and it certainly hit the mark! Fairytale horror centered on the oppression of female bodies and psyches might be my favorite sub-genre of all time. There's just so much to be said and explored, especially in a setting unhindered by realism. Lanagan is not a lazy writer. The prose is intricate and dense, the plot anything but formulaic. For me, the disturbing violence and vast number of perspectives that the narrative forces the reader to consider show that Lanagan wrote this story for more than entertainment. It isn't meant to be easy to digest, so don't suggest it as an easy read. It is difficult, but it delighted me even as it horrified me.
Ivy from Books Inc. Berkeley