Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

Published: 2008
Pages: 436
Genre: Fantasy
Liga was only a young girl when she was sexually abused by her father and some town boys. Wanting to escape the reality of her life, she's transported into a personal heaven where she raises her two daughters. But when the barriers of this new life start to become unclear, how can these three women, living in a gentle and safe land, accept reality and live in a place that is so cruel?

I'm going to come right out and say it, because I must tell someone or I will explode: this book totally, completely, utterly blew me away. And not just in the insignificant, sometimes over-used sense of the expression. No way. Tender Morsels is of the calibre that even the thought of the book evokes this weakening, nostalgic feeling in me.

Lanagan's writing is gorgeous, to say the least. It flows, and it compliments the story beautifully. The way she describes situations, people, feelings, and emotions is poetic and has this certain richness that is impossible for me to describe. The last few pages of this book are packed with an emotional intensity that made me melt. Lanagan has the power to make you feel sadness, heartbreak, joy, and understanding all in one thought. If the plot of this book doesn't interest you at all (which is should, really), do yourself a favour and read Tender Morsels just to experience Lanagan's writing talent.

Now, how can I describe the plot? That's something that I've been struggling with so far, because it is so, so different from the average novel's. It combines fairytale elements with fantasy elements, and the result is mesmerising - I guarantee you have never read anything even remotely close to Tender Morsels in this regard. Some of the stuff the book suggests is crazy, but that's the beauty of it all. To appreciate the novel, you have to let go of what you consider normal and enjoy the book as it progresses on its own. I really enjoyed that part of it, actually. People always say that they read books to "escape", and with this book you truly do escape. You escape into the world of Branza, Urdda, Liga, and the wonderful (and not so wonderful) people in their lives.

Recommendation: If you are able to let go of your own reality and aren't scared off by something that you aren't used to, I urge you to read Tender Morsels. It'll be unlike anything you've ever read, and you probably will never forget its magic.

16 comments:

Adriana said...

I started reading this book when I was in High School, but I never got around to finishing it. It was just really tragic. I'll definitely have to give it another read though.

Nymeth said...

I'm so glad you loved it, Emidy! TM blew me away too - more so than anything I've read in a long, long time. Also, I love what you said about being people scared off by things they aren't used to (or trying to silence what makes them uncomfortable). So true.

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Wow...I've heard this one was great, and your review really makes me want to go get it now. Amazing review, it sounds like a touching novel to read

Jan von Harz said...

Very high praise, I will take it under advisement and read this one. Thanks.

Tahleen said...

This is actually the first time I've heard anything about this book. I think I've seen it around before, but I didn't know anything about it. It definitely sounds like something I'd enjoy; I'll have to try to get my hands on a copy!

Emidy said...

Adriana - Give it another try for sure. You'll probably end up liking it more now!

Nymeth - It was sooo amazing. I'm pretty sure it was on your blog that I first saw it, too!

Lea - Thank you! It was very touching. Try to read it sometime!

Jan - Oh great, I'm glad you want to read it! Hope you like it.

Tahleen - Great! Hope you get the chance to read it.

Blueicegal ♥ said...

wow sounds like you really enjoyed it maybe ill look it up, awesome review!

Aths said...

This is not a book I would pick out on my own, or even if I saw the cover in a store. But reading through your review, I'm curious! I have to look this one up -- I love stories of people with inner strength and how they overcome adversities. If the protagonist is a woman, then that's even better!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This sounds amazing. I must read this. Great review. Seriously!

Emidy said...

Blueicegal - Thank you! I hope you get the chance to read it sometime.

Aths - I felt the same way! If I saw this book in stores I probably wouldn't have picked it up, but I read a review on another blog. I'm so glad I decided to read it!

Juju - Thanks so much! It is amazing.

Lauren said...

Since this book was released I've been hesitant to pick it up because of the cover and the fact that it totally different from something I would usually read. Though now with your wonderful review, I think I'll be giving it a try soon.

GMR said...

Wow! It sounds like this book really moved you...love it when that happens. I like the way you described the author's writing style, so inviting even though the character's past may scare off a reader or two. Thanks for shining a spotlight on this title and sharing your own reading adventure...

April said...

Wow! What an incredible review! I am going to have to check it out further!!

miss cindy :) said...

Aww, this sounds really cute! Great review :)

Emidy said...

Lauren - Aw, thanks so much! Don't be afraid to pick this book up. You might end up loving it!

GMR - It did move me for sure! It's a great one.

April - Thank you! Yes, I encourage you to do that.

miss cindy - Thanks! It has its cute moments for sure.

NotNessie @ Today's Adventure said...

I'm so glad you loved this book. It was such an unusual read, like you said.