If Margo Lanagan hasn’t been on your radar and you’re a regular genre reader…don’t despair. She’s published short stories and short story collections in the States (she’s Australian) up til now.

But now you should get her on your radar. No, really you should. She’s got a way with words. And with emotions. And with portraying really, really hurtful reality without throwing you into despair.

For some reason, Tender Morsels has been identified as YA by some circles…but it’s not something I’d really want my 6-14 year old daughter just stumbling across without some outlet for discussing what happens in the book.

You see, there are multiple gang rapes, animal sex, violence, incest, fear, and sordid relations between people.

But it isn’t an Oprah pick. While the consequences of those actions are not glossed over, the actual depiction of those scenes are presented in manageable ways.

The story is that of a girl living outside a village, Liga, who after being impregnated in some pretty terrible ways, is sent to her own version of heaven with her two little babies. She has the babies (her own version of heaven is the village and her house without her father nor the villagers who up til now have scorned her) and lives there until one of her girls pulls her back into the real world.

So for me, the story was about dealing with the consequences of horrible events, and how the choices we make reveal our own goodness and evil.

And how ultimately, we live through our pasts with our scars forming ourselves.

Beautifully written, beautiful story (in a painful way), but has some very strong sexual scenes at times (although not graphic).

Very highly recommended.