Tender Morsels

This is the first of three books I’ve recently read featuring women pregnant under unhappy circumstances or whose babies are threatened or both… probably not the best of choices for reading while pregnant, and I’m really not sure how it happened. Must find books with happier pregnancies next…

book coverTender Morsels by Margo Lanagan Here is a haunting retelling of the Grimm’s story of Snow White and Rose Red. It starts off in an extremely dark place as Liga Longfield, with a baby by her father and pregnant from a gang rape, is on the brink of suicide. She is granted her own personal paradise, where she can raise her daughters in peace and freedom. The older daughter, Branza, is blond and peaceful, while Urdda is dark and fiery. As the girls grow, they and Liga discover gaps in the barrier, as an unfriendly dwarf and then two bears who act like men – one friendly and one with clearer sexual intentions – come into the world and leave again. Urdda begins to chafe at the confines of the paradise as she grows older, and finds her own way out. Eventually, the alternate world breaks down entirely and Liga and Branza, too, are forced into dealing with the harshness of the real world. There’s a lot of thought here on the dark side of sexuality, as well as looking at what is too much pain and how healing can occur. It’s told in language that feels antique and rural, pulling the reader deeper into the tale. Tender Morsels was an honor book for the ALA’s award for teens, the Printz. One could also look at Patricia Wrede’s Snow White and Rose Red for an entirely different (and lighter) take on the tale.

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About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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One Response to Tender Morsels

  1. Pingback: The Brides of Rollrock Island | alibrarymama

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