Review: Season to Taste by Natalie Young

images (4)Season to taste by Natalie Young
“Always let the meat rest under foil for at least ten minutes before carving…

Meet Lizzie Prain. Ordinary housewife. Fifty-something. Lives in a cottage in the woods, with her dog Rita. Likes cooking, avoids the neighbours. Runs a little business making cakes.

No one has seen Lizzie’s husband, Jacob, for a few days. That’s because last Monday, on impulse, Lizzie caved in the back of his head with a spade. And if she’s going to embark on the new life she feels she deserves after thirty years in Jacob’s shadow, she needs to dispose of his body. Her method appeals to all her practical instincts, though it’s not for the faint-hearted. Will Lizzie have the strength to follow it through?

Dark, funny and achingly human, Season to Taste is a deliciously subversive treat. In the shape of Lizzie Prain, Natalie Young has created one of the most remarkable heroines in recent fiction.”

Review:

“Season to taste” is a suburban dark comedic horror that would make Roald Dahl proud.

“Season to taste” starts off with the best motherly advice “You have to get your head around disappointments. And try not to drink”. I think that line alone sums up Lizzie’s state of mind. Lizzie  co-dependant and disenfranchised. Snippets of her life appear throughout the story as  Jacob, her husband, chipped away at her over the years, little piece by little piece.

I suspected that Jacob was a bit of a narcissist and that part about him really doesn’t come out until one scene where he was gaslighting her to make her believe his indiscretion was her fault. Jacob was selfish and apathetic – I don’t know if he deserved what he got in the end, but Lizzie sure thought so. The more you learn about Lizzie, the less horrified you become and the more empathetic towards her you become.

Eating Jacob takes on a cathartic quality of taking her power back from him. With every  mouthful, she savours her new freedom. Canabalism is probably the most taboo human subject out there, but Natalie Young handles it with grace. “Season to taste” is often thought-provoking, humorous and totally outlandish. It depicts the dysfunctional traits of amour fou and brings all those things you think of doing in the heat of the moment and plots it all out in fable form.

Lizzie just didn’t eat Jacob like a caveman, she prepared him. Some of the recipes were quite inventive and gourmet. My personal favourite was the Jacob ginger stir fry. “Season to taste” is a truly unique book – at times a bit gory and not for the faint of heart, but this is a book that wont be forgotten any time soon.

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