#bookreview The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean published by Harper Voyager

Synopsis:

Hidden across England and Scotland live six old Book Eater families.

The last of their lines, they exist on the fringes of society and subsist on a diet of stories and legends.

Children are rare and their numbers have dwindled, so when Devon Fairweather’s second child is born a dreaded Mind Eater – a perversion of her own kind, who consumes not stories but the minds and souls of humans – she flees before he can be turned into a weapon for the family… or worse.

Living among humans and finding prey for her son, Devon seeks a cure for his hunger. But time is running out – for her family want her back, and with every soul her son consumes he loses a little more of himself…

This is a story of escape, a mother’s savage devotion and a queer love that will electrify readers looking for something beguiling, thrilling, strange and new.

My reading experience:

This isn’t just a book about a different species of humans living amongst us. This is an allegorical tale of patriarchy, the suppression of women, cult or religious manipulation, human trafficking and the subjugation of those with disabilities. Women are literally fed fairytales their whole lives until they are forced into arranged “marriages” and their ensuing children removed from them. This definitely isn’t a fairytale.

This is a fantasy story but actually the world it depicts is despicable. I suppose what I read is not escapism as a lot of reading is, but a view of our world with a different lens, and therefore thought provoking and in many places, uncomfortable. Isn’t it true that most stories, be them books or movies end in marriage and children? Is this our benchmark of happiness or success? If so, isn’t that crazy?

Well done Sunyi Dean. I highly recommend your book.

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