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Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso
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's review
Jan 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: biography-autobiography, family-issues, non-fiction

Despite being horrified, revolted, and disturbed by this book, I couldn't put it down. The author spares no details in describing her sexual abuse (let's not call it molestation; that's too pretty of a word) at the hands of a predator from the age of 7 to 22. The love/hate relationship she has with him along with her conflicting desires to destroy him and save him might be hard for some to fathom. Margaux clearly shows how a predator/pedaphile grooms and manipulates his victims and convinces them what he is doing is out of love and concern for them.

I would have preferred to see Peter demonized and villified, and I am disgusted at Alice Sebold's comment about this book humanizing a pedophile (what redeeming qualities does Peter have that he deserves to be humanized?), but this is non fiction afterall, so the author can't give us a redemptive ending, can she?

Visceral and graphic, the violence Peter inflicts (and which Margaux learns to inflict as well) is terrifying.

I think the writing style is overdone at times, and other times it feels stilted to me. However, I don't think lyrical writing would work for the content of this book.

It would be nice to see how the author healed and moved on after Peter's death. I needed to know that in order to be fully satisfied with this story. Otherwise, what is the point of this book except to chronicle a horrifying experience. Should we learn something from Margaux's tragic tale? Perhaps she will write another book?

Fans of Kathryn Harrison and Alice Sebold's work will recognize similarities.
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