Sunday, August 30, 2009

Margo Lanagan - Tender Morsels

I was astonished to discover that Tender Morsels was actually meant to be a YA fiction book. Personally, I think this book is far more suited to an adult audience, not only because of its dark content but also because of the writing style. The prose used in the book is an earthy kind of language (if that makes any sense!), which reflects the setting of the story well but can be a little hard to follow, especially with the constantly switching viewpoints. The adult themes of this book are also quite disturbing, what with incest and rape just part of the narrative. The author never really delves into graphic details but certainly enough for readers to understand some of the horrifying traumas the character goes through. I was quite excited to borrow this book from the library as it was highly recommended by Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favourite authors, and it also had mainly positive reviews on Amazon. I must say that I am actually quite disappointed and a little glad that I didn't purchase it to read. My main issue with the book is the changing viewpoints, which I feel didn't serve much purpose for Tender Morsels. I think I would have enjoyed the story much more if the novel focused on Liga and her daughters and their journey back into the real world. For example, I don't think some of the parts that featured the bear-men were all that necessary; in fact, I found them quite tedious and I would skip over those bits. Also, who was Wolf? I would have liked to know more about his relationship with Branza but in the end, he remained a dream and fantasy. It's an interesting read, but not one that I think I will revisit nor recommend to others.