Regular readers of Rose Reads Novels will already know of my love for food themed novels, especially those with recipes.
Well, Season to Taste, or How to Eat Your Husband by Natalie Young takes the genre of novels with recipes to a whole new level.
For whatever reason, Lizzie, the main character of Season to Taste, who has been married to Jacob for thirty years, hit him over the head from behind with a spade and killed him. She then cut him into pieces, bagged and labelled the pieces, then put the pieces into the freezer with the intention of cooking and eating him. Hence, the recipes.
Lizzie is not a cannibal. She may well be a psychopath, as she has little regret for her actions or empathy for Jacob, apart from believing she has put him out of his misery (he suffers from depression). She believes that to go to prison for murdering Jacob would be a waste of her life. Her marriage was unhappy, but Lizzie never made a serious attempt to leave Jacob.
I enjoyed the first part of the novel enormously, especially the nasty shivers which came about from the shock value of the particularly yucky bits. Learning that even the dog couldn’t eat the soles of Jacob’s feet (too tough) was really nasty. Reading the section where Lizzie straightened Jacob’s fingers before cooking his hand was written in a very matter of fact manner, yet this part hit me like a sledgehammer.
I also enjoyed the life advice from Lizzie’s mother, which was funny and surprisingly good.
Eventually I stopped cringing at the gross bits. By the middle of the book, I actually found a recipe for a marinade using pineapple juice, which looked delicious. I did a mental inventory of my pantry, ticked off all of the ingredients, then stopped short. Was I seriously thinking of making this recipe? A recipe for a marinade which the main character of Season to Taste used to flavour the meat from her husband’s body?
I find myself looking at my husband and thinking, I couldn’t do it. He is far too big to eat. I would never get through him. Plus, he wouldn’t fit in the freezer. I don’t have an axe. (Lizzie might think I was just looking for excuses not to kill and eat my husband).
The end of Season to Taste petered out a bit, and became slightly boring. Perhaps the shock value of the premise wore off. I don’t usually read anything gruesome, but I quite enjoyed the chills which ran down my back in the first half of the novel.
As it turned out, my husband was never in any serious danger. I already had pork and beef in the freezer. Nor did I write the recipe out for future use.
For the record, Lizzie said Jacob tasted a bit like chicken.