Betty's Reviews > Tiger, Tiger

Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso
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's review
Jun 10, 2011

it was amazing
Read in May, 2011 — I own a copy

I rated this five stars because I think it's an important book and because I liked the way Fragoso was able to evoke the mood of her life in the way that she did. I can't say that I enjoyed reading it and I would hesitate to recommend it because it is incredibly graphic and extremely disturbing. I have read other reviews where people denounce her for writing it the way that she did. One reviewer said something to the effect of "Her target audience is pedophiles" as though she put in the details that she did to be titillating. I understand why people feel that way and I have to disagree. One of the most upsetting things about her story is that there were so many adults around who should have realized and on some level must have known something wasn't right and yet no one stepped in and protected her. I feel that the distaste that we have for the subject matter makes it easier in a way for someone to get away with the kinds of things that happened to her. The act of turning away opens the door to that behavior, we can't believe that someone would do that and so we don't let ourselves see things that in retrospect should be red flags. Would you let your little girl be alone with someone you didn't know very well? Would you let her go into the basement with him to play with no supervision? What if he were super nice and had lots of pets and was a really good listener? What if he didn't seem like the kind of person who would do that? This book shows not just what happened but how it was allowed to happen. I think that for me I felt that if she could survive it than the least I could do was know it. Other reviewers where upset that there wasn't closure at the end or that it didn't seem like she had healed or moved on, that's not how life works though. She is going to be dealing with her past the rest of her life, her abuser was as much a part of her life as her parents were and had an even bigger part in shaping her personality. Ultimately I think what bothered people was that she talked about the fact that she loved him and never refuted that and that's uncomfortable to hear. I think the kind of person who can't understand that is the same kind of person who looks at someone in an abusive relationship and thinks, "Why don't they just leave? I would never stay with someone who did that." Fragoso's story shouldn't have occurred but it did and I think we owe it to her and others like her to listen.
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