Judith's Reviews > Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir

Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso
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's review
Jun 23, 11

This is a memoir by a woman who was sexually molested and raped by an older man who was a "friend of the family". At the tender age of 8, the author met Peter ( the pedophile) who was 51. For the next 14 years, until he committed suicide at the age of 66, they were together on an almost daily basis, and for most of that time, he was sexually molesting her. You may think you've heard/read enough about child abuse by now. But this book has a unique perspective.

The author has an incredible eye for details and the narrative transports the reader back to childhood. Real childhood---not the Hollywood version with precocious children acting adorably. She also has a pitch perfect ear for dialogue. Each character comes alive through their language and it feels like you are in the room with them. It's as if the author had tape recorded these conversations and replayed them in the book. As horrid as the villains in this story are, I couldn't help but feel pity for them, and I think this is because the author was so skilled at conveying the complexities of the personalities involved.

At the same time, because the tone is not vindictive, my empathy and compassion for the author/victim is so overwhelming. While reading this book, I wanted to reach through the pages and pull her out of harm's way. And I was grateful that she tells us in the prologue that the pedophile killed himself because I would have been looking to strangle him myself otherwise. I hope the author had a ton of therapy and that she has a happy life and a successful career.
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