Winner of The World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, 2009
I first saw Tender Morsels on Nymeth’s blog. Her passionate review was enough for me to add it straight to the wish list.
Tender Morsels is a beautiful, but dark, fairy tale. The book begins with one of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen in 2009. In the first few chapters we learn about Liga, a young woman living with her abusive father in the woods. Abused and raped, Liga finds herself pregnant and ends up alone in the world with two daughters. I loved this section so much that I thought this book would become one of my all time favourites. The scenes were vivid, without being graphic, and were packed with emotion.
Unfortunately, everything started to go wrong at about the hundred page mark, when, to make up for the terrible suffering that she had endured, Liga was transported to another world – one in which she was safe from harm.
I struggled to empathise with Liga at this point. The introduction of talking bears and other fairy-tale characters meant that all the tension and emotion just vanished for me. I found my reaction to be summed up really well by one of Liga’s daughters:
The writing was beautiful throughout and I can see why so many people love this book, but I’m afraid that the alternate world section just didn’t work for me. The book picked up a bit towards the end, but never regained the magic of the first few chapters.
I’m pleased that I read it, and recommend it to everyone, but I think you just need to be warned that it might not be for those who like their books to be based on reality.
Have you read Tender Morsels?
Do you have a problem with talking bears?!