Season to Taste

season to tastePublished: 2014
Author: Natalie Young

Macabre, nasty and thoroughly good fun


Every now and then I receive a book that makes me throw my review schedule out of the window and read it straight away rather than in strict order. The concept will just grab me and I’ll need to know more. Natalie Young’s Season to Taste: or How to Eat Your Husband was one such book. A story about a woman who kills her husband and then disposes of the body by eating it? Sounded too good to have to wait.

Season to Taste is the story of Lizzie Prain, a fifty-something housewife who kills her husband by bashing him over the head with a shovel then dissects his body and spends several weeks cooking and eating it. As Lizzie’s culinary (mis)adventures unfold we find out more about the Prains’ marriage and what could have led Lizzie to murder. It’s hard to say too much about this book without spoiling it; you really do want the narrative to unravel without knowing what’s happening or where it is going.

While I was reading the book my primary feeling was an overwhelming desire to find out what was going to happen next. What had driven this seemingly nice woman to murder? Was the husband really as benign as he appeared? Why didn’t we hate Lizzie for killing a man who didn’t actually seem that bad? Hopefully it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that I loved that Young didn’t go for any easy or satisfying answers, the characters are much more than just black or white, good or evil. That made the dissection of the marriage so much more interesting and complex. I also (and I blush to admit this) really liked some of the recipes – although at this point I’d like to reassure my husband that I would replace human body parts with other meat products.

Season to Taste has a deliciously dark and twisted sense of humour which takes your breath away. Can we really be quietly chuckling about murder and cannibalism? For me, the very ordinariness of the couple and their setting (middle class Surrey) made the gruesome nature of the story even more amusing, this wasn’t a foreign land with strange customs but everyday, normal, recognisable Britain.

I don’t imagine Season to Taste: or how to eat your husband will be for everyone. Some will find it too distasteful or gruesome for their liking and that’s fine, it’s not a book that (despite really enjoying) I would press into friends’ hands and demand that they read. But if your preferences do run to the macabre then this is a unique tale which will engross and repulse you in equal measure.

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