book review: tender morsels

Tender Morsels is Margo Lanagan’s fairy tale that doesn’t feel like a fairy tale because of how terribly it begins. [TRIGGER WARNING] Liga is raped by her father in their cottage in the woods repeatedly and the third time he gets her pregnant he’s killed on his way home to give her the abortion weeds. And then after she’s given birth to a daughter she’s raped by a bunch of the town boys.

So yes, dark.

That terrible horrible beginning is so important for the rest of the book though, which is about Liga protecting her daughters and her daughters trying to find their own ways in the world. It’s so good. Each of the women, Liga and her two daughters, have very different ways of dealing with the world and the story of how they do this is deep and affecting. It doesn’t have the same sense of fun with the grimness of the fairy-tale that A Tale Dark and Grimm does, and it’s written for a much older audience.

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