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.