Book review: Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente⁠

Synopsis

Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.

It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.

But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…

But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?

Review

I feel like you should go into this one with as little knowledge as possible, especially as it’s only just over 100 pages in length.⁠ However, I cant contain all my feelings on it, so here’s my very basic and vague review…⁠

I read this in a single sitting, Valente’s writing style is hypnotic and beautiful, her descriptions had a fairy-tale feel to them that I loved and the way she told this story kept me glued to the pages.⁠

Despite its short length, this one will have you jumping through hoops. There were so many times I thought ‘easy, I’ve got it’ only to be put in my place again in the next few pages. ⁠

I’ve seen several reviews calling this ‘weird & confusing’ – two of my most favourite elements of books – and while yes, it is a little weird, I can’t work out how once you’ve read the entire thing you can still come away from it confused. The story wraps itself up neatly, and in such a brilliant way that my jaw dropped.⁠

It’s safe to say I loved this book from page one. I was unsettled and amazed by it. The ~thing~ it does is brilliant. I will probably reread it considering it’s short length so I can rediscover the story knowing what I now know about it. I loved how clever it was and it’s twist of feminism at the end. So, so good.⁠

“I was made for him.”⁠

(please be cautious of reviews if you plan to read this – maybe a bit rich coming off the back of my review but I’ve kept it entirely vague. I’ve seen both positive AND negative reviews that spoil the ENTIRE thing with NO SPOILER TAGS. I don’t know what’s got into people over this book but they’re ruining the fun. Stay wary folks!)⁠

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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