Season to Taste
When this title was offered, I instantly thought it similar in premise to Sweeney Todd, with a few twists. Natalie Young presents us with Lizzie Prain, a housewife with a fairly ordinary life, existing in a loveless marriage. One night, Lizzie loses her cool and kills Jacob, her husband.
There’s not a ton of “why” early on: why Lizzie didn’t make another choice; Jacob isn’t abusive he’s more dismissive, preferring the company of women he pays to that of his wife. But, the deed is done, and Lizzie must face the consequences or deal with her situation.
Her choice? An odd sort of penance as she takes the very British line of bucking up and doing what needs must, she decides to cook Jacob’s remains, and dispose of him that way. A bit grizly and not for the fainthearted, soon the focus really does shift from the cannibalistic act to the penance and guilt that Lizzie feels, and how she is making recompense for her deed.
A bit jumpy in the telling: there are insertions of flashbacks that are unnoted as such, bringing a strange sort of ‘time warp’ to readers, never quite sure of the information until a few paragraphs later. The unusual method of introducing the love interest, and the questions about Lizzie’s ability and willingness to come “clean” about her murderous ways do help to add some tension and interest, and the ending does feel appropriate and right for the story.
Narration is provided by Gemma Whelan, and she does a lovely job as Lizzie, with small changes in pitch and pacing as she presents the story. Pleasant to listen to, her presentation was appropriate and solid.
An interesting, if somewhat black-hearted story, it fits well into the ‘something different’ category that I was hoping for, with some lovely moments for readers and listeners alike.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 4 Story 3
Title: Season to Taste
Author: Natalie Young
Genre: Woman's Fiction
Narrator: Gemma Whelan
Published by: Hachette Audio
Published on: 15 July, 2014
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 5 Hours: 31 minutes
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A startling debut about the extraordinary end of a marriage and its very strange aftermath.
Meet Lizzie Prain. She is an ordinary housewife and lives with her lovely dog and her husband, who is a bit of a difficult fellow, in a quiet cottage in British country side. She's a wonderful cook. She enjoys her garden. And, occasionally, she makes cakes for the village parties.
No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday and Lizzie snapped and cracked him on the head with her garden shovel. No one quite misses Jacob though, and Lizzie surely didn't kill him on purpose. And now that she has the chance to live beyond his shadow, she won't neglect her good fortune. Over the course of the following month, with a body to get rid of and few fail-proof options at hand, Lizzie will channel her most practical instincts and do what she does best: she'll cook Jacob, and she'll eat him. But when Lizzie inadvertently befriends an isolated misfit, she will be tested: Will Lizzie turn to this new person for solace and abandon her desperate plan or will her new friend be an unwitting accessory to her crime?
Dark, unexpectedly funny, and achingly human, Season to Taste is a deliciously subversive treat. In Lizzie Prain, Natalie Young has created one of the most remarkable and surprising heroines in fiction.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.