Thursday, 6 February 2014

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband by Natalie Young

Lizzie Prain is an ordinary fifty-something housewife.  She lives in a cottage in the woods with her husband, Jacob, is isolated, has no friends and one day murders her husband by hitting him over the back of the head with a shovel.  She then dismembers him, puts him in neat packages in the freezer and then thinks up a myriad of ingenious ways in which to cook and eat him!

She is also compiling an instruction manual on how one is likely to feel in these circumstances and this runs concurrently through the story in bullet point form.

I must confess that the first couple of chapters of this book had me feeling rather nauseous as it details Lizzie beginning the cooking and consumption of her husband in detail and I almost gave up reading at that point.  Lizzie appeared a very callous and cold hearted woman, not to mention one with cannibalistic tendencies and I wasn't at all convinced that this was the book for me.

However, something interesting happened to me whilst I was reading this.  Lizzie's character and circumstances began to emerge and I found myself unexpectedly warming to her.  Obviously, I did not approve of her actions but I came to see her as a repressed woman whose bizarre behaviour was a consequence of her situation. I had to continually remind myself that she was a cannibal with a culinary imagination and that I definitely should NOT like this character under any circumstances!

There were times when I could empathise with her loneliness.  In her simple instruction manual she writes:
“Put the dogs bed in your bedroom if you feel lonely.”  Out of context this sounds insignificant but within context begins to enable the reader to see that Lizzie has spent most of her life friendless, criticised and alone.

This is a dark and macabre novel and is totally different to anything I have ever read before.  I would not recommend this to vegetarians, and believe me, reading this is enough to convince the reader that vegetarianism is the way forward. However, if you like your fiction to be edgy but subtle, you have a strong stomach and you want to read something completely out of the ordinary then this is the book for you.

That said, I still have mixed feelings about this novel and I think readers will either love it or hate it.  What I would say is that it brought up an array of emotions for me because I felt uncomfortable that I liked a character who had committed such a heinous crime. I am certain I shall still be thinking about this book for a long time to come which I guess is the sign of a good novel.

I would love to hear your thoughts if any of you read it so please leave a comment.

ISBN:  978 1472209351

Publisher:  Tinder Press

Price (based on todays price at  £4.35
I read the kindle version of this.

Total saved so far:   £167.90

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