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Tender Morsels

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  3,869 ratings  ·  1,059 reviews
Tender Morsels is a dark and vivid story, set in two worlds and worrying at the border between them. Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, a world given to her in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters grow up in this soft place, protected from the violence that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever—magicked men and wild ...more
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published October 14th 2007)
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this is a book that concerns itself with damage and healing. and i think it is a very powerful book filled with Important Lessons. my only problem with it is that there are too many voices, too many characters, which i think makes for a strained and disjointed read. there were so many voices, it became hard to care about any one of them individually.this is not always a problem for me in fiction- i love sprawling narratives, but in this book, i think the real strength of perspective was found in ...more
Emily May

Though I thought Tender Morsels was a fantastically-written and unbelievably well-imagined story, my first instinct is to throw my hands up in warning at any teenager (or - in fact - any adult) who might come strolling along in search of just another typical fairytale retelling. Because that's what this is in it's barest form, it is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm's tale of Rose Red & Snow White: A Grimms Fairy Tale. And don't we all just love the call of the "dark" retellings? We imagine
mark monday
Snow White and Rose Red live with their mother in a cottage. upon them comes a bear, out of the cold, into their warmth and into their lives. he stays with them a bit; they become a sort of family, until he must go away. the girls meet a strange and irritable dwarf and save him several times. he is not grateful. later, the girls come between the dwarf and the now enraged bear. the unpleasant dwarf begs the bear to eat the girls rather than his little self. can the girls' sweet spirits get them o ...more
May 05, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those whose sensibilities are not easily offended
Recommended to Tatiana by: ALA
Evidently, Tender Morsels is a modern retelling of Brothers Grimm's fairy tale Rose Red and Snow White: A Grimms Fairy Tale. If I have to look for an analogy among better known fairy tale retellings, Tender Morsels is closer in its audacity to Anne Rice's version of Sleeping Beauty - The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty than to Robin McKinley's Spindle's End. Is Tender Morsels a remarkable work of literature? Yes. Does it cross the boundaries of what is YA appropriate? Yes, again.

Liga has had an awfu
Oct 28, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Monica
Shelves: starred
Once upon a time, the skeleton of this story was called Snow-White and Rose-Red. Like all fairy tales, it left much unexplained. Too much. Well, Margo Lanagan took those bones and added muscle and guts, bracing the loose joints of the plot with her characters' emotions, motivations, and histories. That's the secret of successful retellings: fleshing out the gaps that relied almost entirely on the readers' willful ignorance or suspension of belief, yet still leaving room for the existence of magi ...more
I need to think about the rating and review for novel. It has me flummoxed in a way I haven’t been over a book before.

While I was trawling Melbourne bookstores for a copy (which was a saga in itself) I had a discussion with a bookseller about Tender Morsels. In passing, I mentioned the brouhaha it had been caught up in a while ago, (along with several other novels), over its inclusion a feminist YA reading list. The subsequent fallout and discussion made for interesting reading, specifically wh
Tender Morsels is a modern retelling of Grimms’ Snow White and Rose Red. Liga had a painful past and was magicked away to another world where she was safe and could raise her two daughters free of violence and the small-mindedness of the villagers in the town she once inhabited. Once the security of their safe world was breached, Liga and her daughters had to learn to adapt to living in the real world.

Beautifully written, rich, disturbing, compelling, yet hopeful, with vividly drawn characters
Kat Kennedy
I actually had no expectations of this book. I suppose, since I already knew about a few of the more disturbing things about this book, that I was already prepared to face it.

What I wasn't prepared for was how utterly bored I'd be. It was quite infuriating really. There were many characters I severely disliked and the plot was very awkward.

I made it about half way through the book before I threw my hands up in disgust and gave up. It just didn't seem to be going anywhere!

So I really can't give
Gloria Mundi

I have to admit that the thing that first attracted me to this book was the wonderful cover art. However, for once, it appears that I was right to judge a book by its cover. Tender Morsels is a retelling of the Snow White and Rose Red story and, as fairytales go, it is decidedly of the Brothers Grimm variety, dark, vivid and brutal, so do not expect it to be full of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns.

When we meet the main character, Liga, she is 13 years old, living with her father in a lonely hut
Full Review Link

Tender Morsels has me stumped. On the one hand, it is a lushly written novel about horrible things, and I can only marvel at Ms. Lanagan’s storytelling skills and her ability to craft such a beautifully cruel fable. On the other, I have to admit that while this book was powerful and well done, I didn’t like it. It’s with these contradictory emotions that I set out and attempt to write this review, so please, bear with me (bad pun, apologies).

This provocative young adult novel is
At first, Tender Morsels drew me in, but the middle kind of lost me (it seemed a little tedious to me).

Lately, I've been hearing "If you don't like a book, put it down. There are too many other good books out there you could be reading."

But I'm not very good at that. If I see the tiniest bit of merit in a book, I'll keep plugging away. And I saw that in this book. The end did actually pull me back in, but mainly because it did a good job of tying up all the loose ends and revealing what happened
Tender Morsels is a hard book to review. I wanted to like it sooo much! After all, I like the writing, the world Margo Lanagan created, the magic and even the disquieting nature of the story. I've always had a fascination with the older, more violent and more disturbing versions of Grimms fairytales, so this book seemed to be right up my alley. Unfortunately, it had too many issues for me to over look.

What comes to mind, first and foremost is the fact that this book is geared towards young adul
This has gotten fantastic reviews, but I think it's horribly overwritten. In addition, the only people reading this, as far as I can tell, are librarians. I've talked three teens into checking it out, and the farthest any of them made was halfway through.
R. C.
Mar 05, 2009 R. C. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sexual abuse survivors
I want to recommend this book to survivors, but I must clarify lest they pick it up thinking my recommendation means it is safe to read. Do not read this without a support system in place, if you have even ever once had a flashback.

The book starts out with an accurate and well-described incest and rape situation involving a young teen and her widower father. It is realistic, not otherworldly, though set in the Middle Ages somewhere. He soon dies, but it's still a very realistic treatment of the
what an interesting book. i imagine 50 or 100 years from now, if liberal arts education is not laughed off university campuses, students of English lit might actually be studying this one.

it's that layered, yep.

about halfway through i realized i was reading something i have run across so rarely: a book where men don't actually matter much. i've read a zillion books where women were just plot devices, getting things kicked off or causing a plot twist. in these cases the men of the story were indi
Tiffany Reisz
A wonderful, dark strange fairy tale. Very weird. Quite enjoyable. Not a light read at all.

Also, the cover says "A Work Of Genius" on it. How do I get "A Work Of Genius" printed on the covers of MY books? Anybody know? Anybody? Bueller?
Dec 05, 2008 Kristen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
So far, it is horrible. By page 50, the main character has been raped multiple times by at least six different men, one being her father. She has been pregnant two different times, both her father's children.

After I wrote this review, I tried to continue but just couldn't. I didn't finish the book - I stopped on page 83. If someone actually gets through it and likes it, let me know!
I think I picked this book up because it was on a list of books that every young woman should read ... ANYWAY, I loved it. Like, REALLY loved it. It's sort of a new fairy tale, but written like a novel. The writing is beautiful, the characters are fascinating, and I kept thinking about the book for days after I finished ... Magical. Really. This is the book I'm not going to shut up about for the next year.
Cross-posted from my blog E.M.Reads.

After 200 pages of Tender Morsels I just can't continue. I mean I'm half way there and I just can't plow through. I'm searching for the plausible chain of events that binds the plot. I understand that this is fantasy and plausibility isn't exactly necessary, but I need to be able to tie together these events with some semblance of belief. After 200 pages I just feel disconnected from the story. I'm sure in the last 50 pages Ms. Lanagan will tie all of the bea
After I read Margo Lanagan’s “Black Juice,” I thought that Margo Lanagan’s “Tender Morsels” was going to be a horrible read. However, I was quite impressed with how improved the plot and characters are in this book are from “Black Juice.” “Tender Morsels” is a Printz Honor Book by Margo Lanagan and it is about how a suffering woman named Liga is mysteriously sent to a world where everything is perfect and friendly and raises her two daughters, Branza and Urdda, in this heaven. However, when wild ...more
After enduring many unspeakable cruelties, Liga is granted a magical safe haven to live in and raise her two daughters. They live in this alternate reality free from anyone or anything cruel or unkind. Others begin to find ways of entering this magic haven and soon the barrier between the two worlds begins to break.
I heard so much praise about this book that I was very eager to read it. Unfortunately, this book turned out to be one that I did not enjoy at all and really probably should have stop
Yes, the first 50 pages are exceptionally brutal. I was reading them on the subway during rush hour and my hands were shaking.

Yes, there are a lot of different voices—a third-person narrative interspersed with three (maybe four?) first-person accounts of strange occurrences that intrude upon the third-person sections. But I never really lost the thread of the story.

And yes, there are some scenes that dance on the edge of bestiality, when a female bear somehow becomes a convincingly appropriate
Oh, those first 50 pages! Spectacular. Not just because of the crazy-beautiful writing, and the dare-you-to-stay-with-me portrayal of a raw, ugly situation, but because I was really and truly convinced that I was inside Liga's head.

As the novel expanded to encompass more lives, I found myself less entranced. It wasn't the difficult but brilliant language choices; it wasn't the raunchy but highly original portrayal of bears; it wasn't the shifting multiple viewpoints. All of that, I admired and
Paul Bowles once said that his wife Jane had difficulty writing because she couldn't do it the easy way like everyone else, but was forced to reinvent everything from scratch. In a way, Tender Morsels feels exactly like this kind of reinvention: nothing comes easily, or proceeds in the accepted and comfortable direction. Description, characterization, dialogue, point of view and narrative are fractured in interesting, inventive and often startling ways.

This is, of course, also a reinvention of a
Kate Forsyth
This is a truly extraordinary book, and one that lingers in the mind for a long time afterwards. The language is astonishingly good – bold, original, unexpected – and the story itself takes all kinds of surprising directions. I really think it’s going to be one of the best books of the year (OK, OK, I know it was published in 2008, but sometimes it takes me a while to get to a book!) It’s only occasionally that I finish a book with a real sense of awe, but this book delivered me that. If you hav ...more
May 03, 2009 Jess rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone not looking for a fast read
Recommended to Jess by: saw it in bookstore
I was so disappointed by this book.

It started off great- I was blown away by Lanagan's writing and thought that this could be one of the best reads this year so far. Unfortunately it just went down hill from page 50 or so.

I wasn't put off by the descriptions of sexual violence like many people said they were. I thought the author dealt with those issues in a really interesting way. She seemed to almost sidestep around them, but still managed to convey all of the feelings of the victim without d
This book began with 50 straight pages of the adolescent protagonist being sexually abused, first by her father, and then, after his death, by men from her village. It was stomach-churning. While I understand that this sort of abuse went on quite commonly both today and in the past (I think this was supposed to be set in the Early Modern Period, but not sure exactly), I don't enjoy reading about it in my leisure time. Making people aware of the need to help abused children does not need to invol ...more
Tender Morsels is dark and disturbing... and a fairy tale. The Brothers Grimm would be proud. The story has it all - fairy godmothers, princesses, transmogrification, violence, joy, sadness, death, babies, magic and murder. It is not for the faint of heart.

This is one of the most beautifully written novels I've read this year, the imagery is vivid, the characters have form and emotion, and the plot is complex, and yet, still a fairy story. Lovely.
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Feb 27, 2010 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dark fantasy and fairytale retelling lovers
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: Amanda Gignac

Set Up:
This story is a version of the tale Rose Red and Snow White, which, according to the link, has no connection to the American version or any other version of Snow White. Wikipedia states the original story is about a poor widow and her two daughters, whom have a wild bear as a companion. It also involves an evil dwarf and treasure.

Unlike the actual tale, and with some artistic license given by Margo Lanagan to give it depth and interest, this retelling of the tale has an interesting bear
Carolyn F.
I have no idea why this book is considered Young Adult, as it should be classified as just Fiction. There are some children who grow into teenagers and young women, but there's more to it than that. I saw this book mentioned as not for young children with some of the sexual content and there are quite a few scenes that are shocking. But again do I censor my daughter from reading something like this because it's not all kissing no touching, and life isn't quite so horrible. I don't think so.

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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. A Girl and Daughters Befriend a Bear [s] 6 25 Dec 17, 2014 03:09PM  
the ending-- poor Liga? 7 108 Dec 30, 2008 04:15PM  
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Margo Lanagan, born in Waratah, New South Wales, is an Australian writer of short stories and young adult fiction.

Many of her books, including YA fiction, were only published in Australia. Recently, several of her books have attracted worldwide attention. Her short story collection Black Juice won two World Fantasy Awards. It was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and the United Kingdom b
More about Margo Lanagan...
The Brides of Rollrock Island Black Juice Red Spikes Yellowcake White Time

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“You are pure-hearted, Branza, and lovely, and you have never done a moment's wrong. But you are a living creature, born to make a real life, however it cracks your heart. However sweet that other place was, it was not real. It was an artifact of your mam's imagination; it was a dream of hers and a desire; you could not have stayed there forever and called yourself alive. Now you are in the true world, and a great deal more is required of you. Here you must befriend real wolves, and lure real birds down from the sky. Here you must endure real people around you, and we are not uniformly kind; we are damaged and impulsive, each in our own way. It is harder. It is not safe. But it is what you were born to. (357)” 27 likes
“There is something about talking in the night, with the shreds of sleep around your ears, with the silences between one remark and another, the town dark and dreaming beyond your own walls. It draws the truth out of you, straight from its little dark pool down there, where usually you guard it so careful, and wave your hands over it and hum and haw to protect people's feelings, to protect your own . . . You can bring out the jaggedest feelings - if you are my wife and know how to state them calm - into the night quiet. They will float there for consideration, harming no one.” 16 likes
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