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Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband

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Always let the meat rest under foil for at least ten minutes before carving...Meet Lizzie Prain. Ordinary housewife. Fifty-something. Lives in a cottage in the woods, with her dog Rita. Likes cooking, avoids the neighbours. Runs a little business making cakes. No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday, on impulse, Lizzie caved in t Always let the meat rest under foil for at least ten minutes before carving...Meet Lizzie Prain. Ordinary housewife. Fifty-something. Lives in a cottage in the woods, with her dog Rita. Likes cooking, avoids the neighbours. Runs a little business making cakes. No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday, on impulse, Lizzie caved in the back of his head with a spade. And if she's going to embark on the new life she feels she deserves after thirty years in Jacob's shadow, she needs to dispose of his body Her method appeals to all her practical instincts, though it's not for the faint hearted. Will Lizzie have the strength to follow it through? Funny, subversive and achingly human, Season to Taste is the extraordinary story of the end of a marriage and its very strange aftermath. In the shape of Lizzie Prain, Natalie Young has created one of the most remarkable heroines in recent fiction.


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Always let the meat rest under foil for at least ten minutes before carving...Meet Lizzie Prain. Ordinary housewife. Fifty-something. Lives in a cottage in the woods, with her dog Rita. Likes cooking, avoids the neighbours. Runs a little business making cakes. No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday, on impulse, Lizzie caved in t Always let the meat rest under foil for at least ten minutes before carving...Meet Lizzie Prain. Ordinary housewife. Fifty-something. Lives in a cottage in the woods, with her dog Rita. Likes cooking, avoids the neighbours. Runs a little business making cakes. No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday, on impulse, Lizzie caved in the back of his head with a spade. And if she's going to embark on the new life she feels she deserves after thirty years in Jacob's shadow, she needs to dispose of his body Her method appeals to all her practical instincts, though it's not for the faint hearted. Will Lizzie have the strength to follow it through? Funny, subversive and achingly human, Season to Taste is the extraordinary story of the end of a marriage and its very strange aftermath. In the shape of Lizzie Prain, Natalie Young has created one of the most remarkable heroines in recent fiction.

30 review for Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    this is only the third book i have read in which a woman eats her beloved, so i'm no expert or anything, but this one manages to make cannibalism pretty dull - an achievement for sure, but not an achievement you really want to celebrate. i first heard about this book from this article when i was researching marriage thrillers for work, and i got really excited. i've read Gone Girl and The Silent Wife and Before We Met and i was hoping for something that took the deadly momentum of these toxic re this is only the third book i have read in which a woman eats her beloved, so i'm no expert or anything, but this one manages to make cannibalism pretty dull - an achievement for sure, but not an achievement you really want to celebrate. i first heard about this book from this article when i was researching marriage thrillers for work, and i got really excited. i've read Gone Girl and The Silent Wife and Before We Met and i was hoping for something that took the deadly momentum of these toxic relationships and upped the ante a little in terms of the damage inflicted. the delicious, delicious damage. but this does not deliver. the problem here is that in every other marriage thriller, there is a clear-cut villain - a sense of "well, this person was an asshole and caused their lover to behave in this way and they totally deserved it." but here…the marriage was convenient and dull and far from ideal, but do you really kill and eat a fella over that?? it's a little extreme. and at the same time, i don't think this book addresses the taboo the way it ought. if we consider books like Fifty Shades of Grey or Tampa and other books that take taboo themes and make them uncomfortably commercial, this book also falls short in that respect. there is nothing shocking here. she has made the taboo utterly domestic - a housewife's cannibalism. she kills her husband on a whim, but ingests him methodically, dispassionately. this has none of the fiery passion of The Taste of a Man - neither the erotic components nor the psychological elements. here, the disposal of the body is treated like housework; a task that needs to be accomplished, just a bit of washing-up. and it's not even foodporn like hannibal she doesn't celebrate the ritual in any way, she makes utterly pedestrian meals out of him, and it is neither feminist triumph nor dark-humored satire on the state of modern marriage. it's just, as she says, eat. shit. sleep. which would call to mind the empowering female liberation of Eat, Pray, Love if this book had a more comedic tone, instead of determined plodding. this is a woman who willingly locked herself away in a safe and dull marriage, and contributed to its dullness. several scenes are recounted in which you can see her husband trying to spice things up romantically, to make things work, to make a better life for them, but she resisted his attempts. her husband is an amateur sculptor who works out of his shed, and here you can see her stifling practicality: "I just need to go to the shed. I need to do something," he'd say. "Now?" "Yes." "It's after dark. It's dinner time." He'd reach for the wine and agree that she had a point. "I can go after dinner. That's what I'll do." "Yes, that's an idea." Somehow the two of them were sucking up all the air. all of these instances where she inhibits her husband, without any psychological justification that might encourage sympathy in the reader, make it hard for her to play the victim card, and hard for the reader to justify or applaud her ultimate decision. but she's not even malicious enough to be a true villain, she's just a slow silent smotherer, a deflator of ambition. the book is peppered with "notes to self" to walk her through the process of consuming the entire corpse of her husband, and even here, her goals are incredibly small and dull: 74. Refrain from eating all day so that you will be hungry. Focus on that hunger in order to let it win out over the feeling of disgust that will come up as you lay the table for another meal. 75. When you get out of here, you will be entirely independent and can choose to live exactly as you please. You might choose never to eat at a table again. You might choose not to use a knife and fork to eat, let alone have such things in your possession. 76. You could simply go to a shop and buy a bag of carrots and eat them outside, standing on the street. 77. Think of that bag of carrots. 78. Think of that street in Scotland. And you standing on it - free - with a bag of carrots. 79. Pour yourself a glass of wine. ordinarily, the paltriness of those dreams would make my heart ache with human-feelings, like that similar scene in The Devil All the Time did, but my heart cannot get it up for this character. i don't feel any sympathy for her. i don't feel that her decision was justified so i don't give a shit about her and her carrots. during The Taste of a Man, i thought, "yeah. i understand why this character felt she had to kill and eat her man. i understand what this author is saying here with this." but this book is neither the passion of The Taste of a Man nor the revenge fantasies of The Silent Wife nor the taboo of Tampa. it's just a book in which a frumpy lady has a "to-do" list, and on that list is "eat husband." it gets three stars because i didn't hate it, i just don't think it was very successful in invoking sympathy in the reader, or bringing anything new to the table of cannibal lit. come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I read this like two months ago, but I am SUCKING at posting anything lately so I’m just now getting around to it. Let’s start with the overall GR rating, shall we? Yeesh. That’s low. Of course that means I loved it. #wrongreader4eva The story here is a fairly simple one. After being married to Jacob for ages, Lizzie finally had enough one day and offed him. Left with the conundrum of how to dispose of the body in a way that would le Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I read this like two months ago, but I am SUCKING at posting anything lately so I’m just now getting around to it. Let’s start with the overall GR rating, shall we? Yeesh. That’s low. Of course that means I loved it. #wrongreader4eva The story here is a fairly simple one. After being married to Jacob for ages, Lizzie finally had enough one day and offed him. Left with the conundrum of how to dispose of the body in a way that would leave no evidence, Lizzie decided to do the most sensible thing . . . . Eat him. Makes this lady look totally normal, huh???? The remainder of the book is about Lizzie’s (ever-so-graphic) consumption of Jacob with a side order of . . . . When I realized that my husband was dead, I also realized I had a chance to live. Obviously this is not a book for everyone and obviously I kind of love fiction that is a little dark or taboo, which is 100% why I downloaded this from the library as soon as I heard of it. What I didn’t expect was to be presented with a story that was surprisingly an über macabre version of . . . . This last month, I have had something to do, and I have had love. I am very lucky. It has been perfect. Full Disclosure: I totally dry-heaved at the eating of the foot. Not only because feet are disgusting when they are attached to living human beings, but because absolutely no detail was spared when it came to the prep work, cooking or ingestion. Consider yourself warned – this is not for the weak stomached so have your barfbags handy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Review originally published at Learn This Phrase. Lizzie Prain is a fiftysomething woman who spontaneously murders her husband. And then eats him. That's about it for the premise of this dark and often stomach-turning novel. That in itself is not a criticism: this simple setup is all Season To Taste really needs to make it intriguing. Team that with an increasing amount of hype and discussion of the novel in the press and on blogs and, as a feminist twist on a controversial taboo subject, it look Review originally published at Learn This Phrase. Lizzie Prain is a fiftysomething woman who spontaneously murders her husband. And then eats him. That's about it for the premise of this dark and often stomach-turning novel. That in itself is not a criticism: this simple setup is all Season To Taste really needs to make it intriguing. Team that with an increasing amount of hype and discussion of the novel in the press and on blogs and, as a feminist twist on a controversial taboo subject, it looks set to be the murder-and-cannibalism equivalent of Tampa . The twisted subject matter sounded right up my street, and after receiving a review copy from the publisher (complete with wooden spoon) I couldn’t wait to get stuck in (pun intended). But unfortunately, the execution (...no, not that execution) left me cold. I was hoping for a combination of black comedy and character study, like Jenn Ashworth's A Kind of Intimacy , with an even more macabre twist and, hopefully, a deliciously unreliable narrator. However, Lizzie is a dull and unsympathetic character. She is is practical rather than conniving, and this is reflected in the workmanlike, emotionless prose. Her husband, Jacob, doesn't exactly sound delightful, but nor is he horrendous enough that any pleasure can be taken from his gruesome demise. Most of the story is told in third person and, although we do hear from Lizzie - throughout the book she is writing a series of instructions to herself - her voice isn’t given enough rein to establish the character in a more interesting way. Then there’s the character of Tom, a young man who works at the garden centre, towards whom Lizzie seems to feel both motherly and predatory. I didn't understand Tom at all - in the main narrative he seems so unstable and his behaviour so abnormal that I actually wondered if he was supposed to be mentally disabled in some way, but in his own narrative (the book has a few chapters written from his point of view) he sounds totally coherent. At first, I wanted to know what Lizzie’s fate would be, and this was what kept me going throughout a lot of boring scenes of her standing around the house and cooking bits of Jacob’s body, but by the end I wasn’t bothered either way. Lizzie was just too uninteresting for me to even care whether she got away with it. I think perhaps this is another book - like all those psychological thrillers of late - that suffers because I’ve read too many similar things. Not that there are lots of books around about women eating their husbands, but I’ve read plenty of variations on ‘seemingly ordinary person does something unimaginably terrible’ and ‘lonely, slightly odd character forms unlikely bond with naive person who is a lot younger or older than them’. eg, to various degrees: the aforementioned A Kind of Intimacy and Tampa, Lamb , God’s Own Country , The Detour , All the Birds, Singing , Lolito , among others. All, to my mind, more successful takes on the ideas that inform the plot. I recently saw one mention of the book (admittedly probably written by someone who hadn’t read it) that called it ‘the female American Psycho’, and it’s really about as far away from being that as a story about murder and cannibalism can possibly get. I bloody wish it had been the female American Psycho. Honestly, I hope other readers find that this book lives up to the hype, and enjoy it the way I hoped I would. It just wasn't the sort of thing I like to read, and I felt the author could have done something much more interesting with the idea had she explored Lizzie’s psyche in more depth, or made her either a victim you can sympathise with, or the type of awful person you love to hate, or that magical combination of both. I get that the entire point is that she isn’t any of these things - she’s just a plain, ordinary woman whose life has been a series of quiet failures - but, in this case, I’m afraid that doesn’t make for a very interesting story. And for all that the book’s been promoted as darkly comic and satirical, I didn’t find much of either element in the narrative, and felt both could have been exploited further to make it a more enjoyable read. That’s just my opinion, though, and it already seems that a lot of readers would disagree. It’s such a unique premise that it’s worth giving it a try and deciding for yourself.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I was sent this book in exchange for a honest review. Once I had read the blurb I thought the book sounded really different and intriguing, I was a little apprehensive of starting it as I had heard it was gruesome, something that I don't really like in books. However I had also heard a lot of people talking about this book so thought I would give it a go. This is about Lizzie, the opening few pages we realise that she had murdered her husband, Jacob. She hit him over the head with a garden spade I was sent this book in exchange for a honest review. Once I had read the blurb I thought the book sounded really different and intriguing, I was a little apprehensive of starting it as I had heard it was gruesome, something that I don't really like in books. However I had also heard a lot of people talking about this book so thought I would give it a go. This is about Lizzie, the opening few pages we realise that she had murdered her husband, Jacob. She hit him over the head with a garden spade and now she needs to dispose of the evidence. She did not have a happy marriage to Jacob and now that he has gone she does not intend on paying for his departure. She intends to get the deed over with and begin a new life in Scotland. I found the book way too gruesome for me, I did not enjoy reading about Lizzie chopping him up, freezing him and then finding ways to cook him. I understand that the book is meant to have dark humour, it was dark - humorous? Not for me. The story is told with very little emotion and I feel that I could never really get to know any of the characters. I found it written quite bluntly, there is no remorse from Lizzie she is truly focused on how she is going to get to Scotland and when. I also didn't find it a particularly quick read. The recipes do break the text up, however I didn't enjoy reading the recipes, these were also written in scrawly hand writing which at times became difficult to read. Overall I did not enjoy this book at all, which is unfortunate as there was quite a lot of hype about it, it just wasn't for me. If you enjoy dark humour books and are not squeamish then you will probably enjoy this read. It just wasn't for me. I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this in exchange for a honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☣Lynn☣

    I enjoyed this despite the negative reviews for this. I understand why so many didn't like this book, but I wasn't that turned off by the writing style. It's just.....different and takes awhile to get used to. I'm glad my fellow messed up coworker recommended this little gem to me. Now my husband is afraid I'm gonna cook his ass in a stew. Lol! I enjoyed this despite the negative reviews for this. I understand why so many didn't like this book, but I wasn't that turned off by the writing style. It's just.....different and takes awhile to get used to. I'm glad my fellow messed up coworker recommended this little gem to me. Now my husband is afraid I'm gonna cook his ass in a stew. Lol!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    As most people know, I love a good transgressive novel and Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband sounds like the type of book I was going to enjoy. The premise is simple; after thirty years of marriage Lizzie Prain has had enough. A single blow with the shovel caves his head in and now she is free but she also has to dispose of his body. Her method appealed to her practical side; she was going to eat him. The book sounds deliciously macabre and to some extent there are some dark moments but As most people know, I love a good transgressive novel and Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband sounds like the type of book I was going to enjoy. The premise is simple; after thirty years of marriage Lizzie Prain has had enough. A single blow with the shovel caves his head in and now she is free but she also has to dispose of his body. Her method appealed to her practical side; she was going to eat him. The book sounds deliciously macabre and to some extent there are some dark moments but there was something incredibly wrong with this novel. Season to Taste is writing in two styles. Firstly you have the overall story but playing alongside of the plot is little notes Lizzie writes to herself, to remind her of what needs to be done. This serves as a psychological insight into her life as well as a shopping list and possible recipe ideas. The major problem I had with this novel was with the protagonist. I could not tell if she was a sociopath that showed no remorse or her psyche was over looked. She felt rather flat overall; I wanted to believe that Lizzie was dead inside from a crippling marriage but every part of her felt fake and emotionless. This made the book rather dull and I found myself losing interest in the character and the novel really quickly. Putting aside the dark nature of Season to Taste, I want to quickly touch on what this book was trying to explore. Lizzie Prain is fifty-three years old and had married for thirty years; she would not have known much of a life outside of childhood and marriage. This novel tries to explore the concept of new beginnings, life after marriage and finding yourself. This might have been effective if my interest was held. I feel like the remorse of killing her husband could have played a part in the novel; it would have been an interesting avenue to explore. The ideal of freedom, life after a bad marriage but the guilt that eats away at her; I feel like this would have made for a better read. Killing her husband and eating him served more of a metaphor but it really didn’t work. New beginnings can be a good topic to write about and if you took out the killing and eating of her husband it might have worked. Granted I might not have picked up the book in that case; I think the author was on the right track but her attempt to go for the shock value didn’t pay off. Going for a light and humorous story doesn’t work when you are also try to be gruesome and dark at the same time. There are plenty of other novels that explore the psychology of a killer or sociopath but this isn’t one of them. This review originally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2014/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tez

    Is it, or is it not, a spoiler? It's the subtitle on the UK cover, and clearly the drawcard. Without it, I wouldn't have tried the book. So glad I did, though. Murder! Dismemberment! Cooking! Cannibalism! If you're interested in any of these, you'll be interested in Natalie Young's Season to Taste, or How to Eat Your Husband. (Rephrase that: If you're interested in READING any of these... Because if you enjoy DOING murder, dismemberment, or cannibalism, you'd best turn yourself into police.) So i Is it, or is it not, a spoiler? It's the subtitle on the UK cover, and clearly the drawcard. Without it, I wouldn't have tried the book. So glad I did, though. Murder! Dismemberment! Cooking! Cannibalism! If you're interested in any of these, you'll be interested in Natalie Young's Season to Taste, or How to Eat Your Husband. (Rephrase that: If you're interested in READING any of these... Because if you enjoy DOING murder, dismemberment, or cannibalism, you'd best turn yourself into police.) So is Lizzie Prain a remarkable character, or are there just extreme circumstances? Nothing in particular seems to precede the murder. Jacob wasn't abusive; though it's clear it was a loveless marriage, a relationship out of convenience rather than anything else. Unemployment is a very relevant issue, and the strain it has on relationships is rather testing. The cannibalism actually makes sense, strange as that sounds. If you don't want to be arrested, you've got to hide the evidence. A secluded location helps, as does a good barbecue, food processor, variety of recipes, and determination. Yet the most fascinating sequence takes place in Glasgow, with a cooler bag that's struggling to keep cool its contents... An extraordinary tale, Season to Taste is one of those novels you never expected to read and now can't imagine going WITHOUT reading it. Seemingly a literary tome, this genre fiction fan was fully engaged with Season to Taste. The monotony of the bonfire, cooking, and eating makes sense in the context, because it builds suspense for what's to come. I won't forget this book in a hurry. Tori Amos said it best in "Blood Roses": Sometimes you're nothing but meat. Now awaiting the human/soylent green challenge on Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steph Patt

    ***I received this book as an ARC for an honest review*** What it is about Lizzie is a 50(ish) year old woman that murders her husband in their yard, chops him up into pieces, sticks him in the freezer, and eats him. The entire plot line (what there was of it) is flashbacks of her past with her husband, who in my opinion doesn’t sound so terrible. Lizzie befriends a boy at the local garden center and he is a total weirdo. The entire story is told through weird shifts of third person, first person, ***I received this book as an ARC for an honest review*** What it is about Lizzie is a 50(ish) year old woman that murders her husband in their yard, chops him up into pieces, sticks him in the freezer, and eats him. The entire plot line (what there was of it) is flashbacks of her past with her husband, who in my opinion doesn’t sound so terrible. Lizzie befriends a boy at the local garden center and he is a total weirdo. The entire story is told through weird shifts of third person, first person, and a series of instructions that Lizzie writes to herself. My thoughts I had high expectations for this book. I was hoping to get a glimpse of a totally demented or devastated woman that had to murder her husband for a twisted or legitimate purpose. Instead I got a dull character that just up and killed her husband in the garden by whacking him over the head with garden spade. The premise of this book was fascinating, but the execution of it failed horribly. It was rather stomach-turning in the description of the cooking and eating of human body parts and more often than not I found that I had to put the book down to ease the nausea before I could read on. I could have handled it just fine if I could have figured out Lizzie. I had no clue if she was nuts or if she was just written so terribly. She seemed very fake and emotionless and I couldn’t get into her psyche enough to get involved in this book. I feel like the author had a really great idea and concept when beginning this novel, but just couldn’t get it out on paper in the right way. Sorry to say that I did not like this book. Not even a little.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lene Krogholm

    I finished the book but really didn't like it. I found it boring and did not even realise until after I finished it that it was supposed to be funny. The character Lizzi really didn't catch me either. I could not relate at all and I thought both her and her husband were...well lazy idiots. I really did not get why they were together. It seemed like everything had always been wrong and they had chosen to be misserable and depressed. The story wasn't clear on why she killed her husband, what drove I finished the book but really didn't like it. I found it boring and did not even realise until after I finished it that it was supposed to be funny. The character Lizzi really didn't catch me either. I could not relate at all and I thought both her and her husband were...well lazy idiots. I really did not get why they were together. It seemed like everything had always been wrong and they had chosen to be misserable and depressed. The story wasn't clear on why she killed her husband, what drove her over the edge. And the ending...did she turn herself in, did she just leave that letter so the young man would not be accused of anything if anyone found out or did she just continue to live in that house.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Koshel

    “Season to taste” is a suburban dark comedic horror that would make Roald Dahl proud. “Season to taste” starts off with the best motherly advice “You have to get your head around disappointments. And try not to drink”. I think that line alone sums up Lizzie’s state of mind. Lizzie co-dependant and disenfranchised. Snippets of her life appear throughout the story as Jacob, her husband, chipped away at her over the years, little piece by little piece. I suspected that Jacob was a bit of a narcissist “Season to taste” is a suburban dark comedic horror that would make Roald Dahl proud. “Season to taste” starts off with the best motherly advice “You have to get your head around disappointments. And try not to drink”. I think that line alone sums up Lizzie’s state of mind. Lizzie co-dependant and disenfranchised. Snippets of her life appear throughout the story as Jacob, her husband, chipped away at her over the years, little piece by little piece. I suspected that Jacob was a bit of a narcissist and that part about him really doesn’t come out until one scene where he was gaslighting her to make her believe his indiscretion was her fault. Jacob was selfish and apathetic – I don’t know if he deserved what he got in the end, but Lizzie sure thought so. The more you learn about Lizzie, the less horrified you become and the more empathetic towards her. Eating Jacob takes on a cathartic quality of taking her power back from him. With every mouthful, she savours her new freedom. Canabalism is probably the most taboo human subject out there, but Natalie Young handles it with grace. “Season to taste” is often thought-provoking, humorous and totally outlandish. It depicts the dysfunctional traits of amour fou and brings all those things you think of doing in the heat of the moment and plots it all out in fable form. Lizzie just didn’t eat Jacob like a caveman, she prepared him. Some of the recipes were quite inventive and gourmet. My personal favourite was the Jacob ginger stir fry. “Season to taste” is a truly unique book – at times a bit gory and not for the faint of heart, but this is a book that wont be forgotten any time soon.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katy Leanne

    Found it hard to follow, characters kept coming into it that played no part in the story and weren't explained to the reader, the story kept changing from past to present which made it hard to read, found it a chore to finish it. I understood the message of the book and found it sad and thought provoking but the story ended up like her marriage, slow, boring and monotonous. Found it hard to follow, characters kept coming into it that played no part in the story and weren't explained to the reader, the story kept changing from past to present which made it hard to read, found it a chore to finish it. I understood the message of the book and found it sad and thought provoking but the story ended up like her marriage, slow, boring and monotonous.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Nolan

    Interesting premise - and beautiful package ... but unfortunately not a book that I would recommend. I wasn't interested in any of the characters, and I slogged through each chapter hoping that it would get better. This one was not for me. Interesting premise - and beautiful package ... but unfortunately not a book that I would recommend. I wasn't interested in any of the characters, and I slogged through each chapter hoping that it would get better. This one was not for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mayar El Mahdy

    This book has a great premise, weird, but great still. The execution was not good. A book about cannibalism should never be boring. A cook book about cannibalism sounds like an amazing thriller, yet it was not.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Philtrum

    Never judge a book by its title. This promised so much yet failed to deliver almost completely. To be honest I’m struggling to think of anything positive to say about this novel(la) other than its title (which is great, and thus takes it off the very bottom rung of the ladder). “How To Eat Your Husband”??? What a great idea. It could have been so good, and it could have gone off in so many different directions. It could have been a great horror story. It could have been darkly humorous. It could h Never judge a book by its title. This promised so much yet failed to deliver almost completely. To be honest I’m struggling to think of anything positive to say about this novel(la) other than its title (which is great, and thus takes it off the very bottom rung of the ladder). “How To Eat Your Husband”??? What a great idea. It could have been so good, and it could have gone off in so many different directions. It could have been a great horror story. It could have been darkly humorous. It could have been knowing and ultra-modern – a la American Psycho. (Not that American Psycho doesn’t have – many – faults) Instead it’s dull, menopausal, confused, confusing, boring and repetitive. Reading it was like being forced to read a cookery book, for kicks. Thankfully, it’s a very short book which could be easily read in a 2-3 hour session. Right at the start of the book we meet Lizzie. If we’re told how old she is, I’ve forgotten. In my mind she a dowdy hausfrau in her early 50s. And she’s just taken a shovel to the back of her husband’s head, and she’s decided to do away with the body by eating it. This is, of course, the first thing that would occur to most people. As noted, from here, it could have gone on to have been a great story. Sadly, the author elects instead to give the book a curious form. We get a few dry paragraphs describing (in the most banal terms) how Lizzie prepares and cooks bits of her dead husband. Then we get a few items from a list of things that (apparently) Lizzie is telling herself. 137: Smile and enjoy yourself. Don’t think about the task at hand. There will be many better books to read in the future. This one can be dropped off at any charity shop. Then we get some flashback/flash-forward plot. Then it’s back to the recipes. Repeat and rinse. There are (almost) too many problems to mention. We don’t care about Lizzie. She has no redeeming qualities. She cooks and eats bits of her husband. Then goes out to the garden to smoke a cigarette. Then tells us a little more about her bored and boring existence. The dead husband certainly doesn’t appear to be a villain. If anything, he’s painted as just as humdrum as Lizzie. Throughout the book, we’re building up to Lizzie packing up everything and moving to Scotland, then, near the end – slight spoiler alert, but if you still decide to read the book after reading this then you deserve it – she goes up to Scotland and then… well, I never… comes back again! There’s an odd relationship between Lizzie and some teenage lad from the farm up the road. But all this develops into is them sleeping together (literally, just sleeping) on a mattress, full clothed. Wow! Within a few pages, I was bored and frustrated with this book, but I stuck at it, partly because I was hoping it would get better, and partly because I really hate to leave a novel unfinished. When I’d finished I was both glad to have finished, and annoyed at the time I’d wasted. After a couple of days – time to ruminate, and read other reviews – I’m just as irritated. I’ve skimmed the five-star reviews on Amazon. I simply cannot understand what other people are seeing in this book. The only explanation I can offer is that I’m not a peri-menopausal, frustrated woman, either in a loveless marriage or recently divorced. Perhaps if I was, this book would be speaking to me. As it is, I’m not, and it didn’t. 1/10

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beth (bibliobeth)

    Three and a half stars from me. A big thank you to the lovely people at Book Bridgr and Tinder Press/Headline for allowing me to read this very dark and unique novel. The title kind of says it all so no spoilers there! In short, it is about a fifty-something woman called Lizzie Prain whom after thirty years of marriage decides to take a shovel to her husband's head. The only problem now is, what to do with the body? Ah, yes the obvious solution - eat it. In this way, the power in the relationshi Three and a half stars from me. A big thank you to the lovely people at Book Bridgr and Tinder Press/Headline for allowing me to read this very dark and unique novel. The title kind of says it all so no spoilers there! In short, it is about a fifty-something woman called Lizzie Prain whom after thirty years of marriage decides to take a shovel to her husband's head. The only problem now is, what to do with the body? Ah, yes the obvious solution - eat it. In this way, the power in the relationship which often lay on her husband's side could be taken back and she could regain control over her life. Her husband's sudden disappearance may pose certain questions, but if she pretends that he has run off with another woman, everything should be perfect. What Lizzie doesn't realise is how difficult eating her husband will be so she writes a list of notes to help her along the way. For example ideas for various dishes using the human meat, reminders of how awful her marriage had become, positive reinforcements and advice to herself should the police come knocking. For example: 81. Your husband's will now be in your mouth and oesophagus, your gullet, stomach and intestines. 82. If you have managed to go to the loo yet, he will have also come out already as waste. 83. Look at the poo. Hopefully, this gives you a good idea about how grim this novel actually is. And this is one of the tamer quotes! As Lizzie continues to eat her husband piece by piece, organ by organ (yes, even the eyeball gets a "look" in!) she focuses on her end-goal. This is to escape to Scotland and start a new life where no one knows her or that she ever had a husband at all. However a problem arises in the form of Tom who works at the local garden centre and almost instantly befriends Lizzie. His grandfather is a bit suspicious about where Lizzie's husband has disappeared to and on top of that her new friend Tom actually wants to come into her house and sit in the kitchen. With bags of a dismembered body hanging around? That could be a tricky one.The question is, will Lizzie succeed in her mission and escape to Scotland? Or will somebody find out what has happened and bring her to justice? I found this novel absolutely fascinating and at the same time, incredibly disgusting. I think it has to be the darkest thing I have ever read and although I'm not a squeamish type at all I found myself wincing and feeling nauseated at particular moments. The "hand," dinner was probably the worst for me but there is certainly grimness to be found on almost each page. Did I enjoy it? For the most part, I have to say I did. It felt like a very unique read and I did enjoy the numbered lists that Lizzie made for herself. As to a motive for killing her husband, there isn't really one I don't think - perhaps a temporary moment of insanity would explain things a bit better. Although, perhaps the author isn't trying to give Lizzie a motive, maybe she suggests that we never know what we may be capable of? This is a dark and very gory read so definitely NOT for those of a nervous or delicate disposition! Personally, it kept me intrigued right through to the end and I'm quite excited to see what this author does next. Please see my full review at http://www.bibliobeth.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda - Go Book Yourself

    A review copy was provided by Tinder Press in return for an honest review Just when I think I can't possibly be grossed out by a book any more, Season to Taste comes along! I honestly thought I was immune at this stage. Especially after reading Cows by Matthew Stokoe. Lizzie s husband is dead. He was working in the garden when she attacked him with a shovel, twice. Being so unconventional herself, Lizzie doesn't trust the conventional methods of corpse concealment such as burying. The A review copy was provided by Tinder Press in return for an honest review Just when I think I can't possibly be grossed out by a book any more, Season to Taste comes along! I honestly thought I was immune at this stage. Especially after reading Cows by Matthew Stokoe. Lizzie s husband is dead. He was working in the garden when she attacked him with a shovel, twice. Being so unconventional herself, Lizzie doesn't trust the conventional methods of corpse concealment such as burying. The only way to truly be rid of the body is to dismember him....and eat him. In devouring him she devours her past, completely erasing his existence. This book really rely's on it's shock factor. Lizzie goes into a lot of detail whilst describing how to cook the various parts of her husbands body. I don't know why but the descriptions of her cooking his hand really made me gag. Its probably because most cannibalistic serial killers prepare human meat to look like a cut from an animal in an attempt to conceal it's origins. Not Lizzie though, she likes to suck on juicy finger meat.. I didn't really warm to any of the characters in this story. I'm not saying that a character has to be likeable for me to enjoy a novel but I like to feel something for them be it joy, happiness or hatred. In fact it made me understand things from her husbands perspective a bit more. Lizzie just seemed devoid of any emotions whatsoever. As for Tom, I really didn't understand him at all. Pacing was another issue for me. Considering the subject matter I would have expected a little more suspense but it just sort of, ambles along. I actually got tired with the consumption of body parts and found it to be a little repetitive. Also, I would have thought that if my other half suddenly disappeared and I suddenly started lighting huge bonfires every night, that the neighbours might notice and become concerned? Maybe the whole town ignoring what was blindingly obvious was meant to part of the dark humour that was mentioned. It must have gone over my head because I can't remember cracking a smile at any time while reading. The ending, like the whole novel was fairly uneventful for me. I know this review sounds quite negative but it's not mean't to be. I don't want to put people off reading this novel if they have been eagerly waiting for it. I think this was a case of right book wrong time. I'm just not at a point in my life where I can find Lizzie Prain relatable. Perhaps people who have experience long term relationship issues or marriage breakdown would be able to take more from this story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Fifty-something Lizzie Prain is stuck. Trapped in an unhappy marriage and trapped in the middle of woods. One morning in March she picks up a garden spade and kills her husband, Jacob. After thirty years of being his wife, Lizzie doesn't feel like she should suffer any further for one moment of insanity (or is it clarity) in their garden. Being an extremely practical woman, Lizzie comes up with a plan. Eat the evidence. Starting with the hands, Lizzie disposes of Jacob one body part at a time wi Fifty-something Lizzie Prain is stuck. Trapped in an unhappy marriage and trapped in the middle of woods. One morning in March she picks up a garden spade and kills her husband, Jacob. After thirty years of being his wife, Lizzie doesn't feel like she should suffer any further for one moment of insanity (or is it clarity) in their garden. Being an extremely practical woman, Lizzie comes up with a plan. Eat the evidence. Starting with the hands, Lizzie disposes of Jacob one body part at a time with the hope that in one month she will be free of Jacob and able to start a new life. Lizzie Prain is seemingly unremarkable. She's a victim of life. Of circumstances. Neither Lizzie nor Jacob are happy in their marriage but neither one can bring themselves to leave. The first time we meet her, she has already done the deed and now has Jacob segmented and resting in multiple bags in the freezer. I'm not normally a squeamish person. I've read Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter series and watched the films multiple times. However there were times when I found this book a difficult read. The discomfort I felt arose not from the act of cannibalization but rather the way Lizzie Prain handled it. Disassociated from the act - boiling, braising, roasting and butchering - and yet very connected. No matter the cut, she still referred to her meals as "Jacob" and struggled physically and emotionally to eat him. Unemployment, loneliness and depression are all important themes throughout the novel. Lizzie Prain is malnourished. Her body and soul have been underfed for years and while Jacob may not have been a provider in life, Lizzie sees this as her chance to replenish herself before starting a new life for herself. It's an interesting novel in terms of there is no real villain. Jacob wasn't physically abusive nor had he done anything that would make clear justification as a reader for WHY Lizzie was driven to murder. There's a distinct lack of passion. Perhaps that is just to reiterate their passionless marriage but it made the act that much harder for me to comprehend. Why did this apparently ordinary and somewhat dull woman kill her husband? There are times when we got to see someone other than Lizzie's thoughts. I understand the reason behind the dual point of view throughout the novel, I felt a little taken out of the story whenever Lizzie wasn't narrating. This book made me uncomfortable at times but I was compelled to see how everything worked out for Lizzie Prain. Season to Taste is descriptive (perhaps too vivid at times for me) but well written with a main character I found to be fascinating to read. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    There is a real ingenuity to Season To Taste. The idea behind it, the writing, the subtlety, the horror, the black humour, and yet it is quite sedate, almost staid - very steady. I am giving nothing away by telling you that the story begins just as Lizzie has murdered her husband Jacob. She battered him around the head with a garden spade on on ordinary Monday morning. Lizzie has endured a long and miserable marriage, and she certainly does not intend for anyone to make her suffer now that Jacob There is a real ingenuity to Season To Taste. The idea behind it, the writing, the subtlety, the horror, the black humour, and yet it is quite sedate, almost staid - very steady. I am giving nothing away by telling you that the story begins just as Lizzie has murdered her husband Jacob. She battered him around the head with a garden spade on on ordinary Monday morning. Lizzie has endured a long and miserable marriage, and she certainly does not intend for anyone to make her suffer now that Jacob is finally gone. So, her idea to make sure that she can get away and start her new life in Scotland is that she will chop up Jacob into sixteen pieces, bag and label each part of him, freeze the parts and eat them over the next few weeks. She'll cook them in different ways; grill, stew, barbeque, grill. She'll season him well with; lemon juice, garlic, herbs and spices. Then she will leave, and then she will be happy. This story is told in a very matter-of-fact way, don't expect a fast and furious read, and don't expect to read of Lizzie's sorrow or regret, or panic, or dismay. Lizzie knows what she is doing, and how she will do it, and focusses entirely on her freedom. Be prepared though for some stomach-churning descriptive prose when reading about the process of dismembering the body and the cooking of each part. Natalie Young has a wonderfully macabre imagination that transposes to her writing quite beautifully. Not everything goes quite as Lizzie plans; enter the character of Emmett, a old, wandering, senile man who poses a threat along the way. Ultimately, underneath the horror of what Lizzie has done, is a story of a very broken relationship. The reader is given an insight into Lizzie and Jacob's marriage, and it is not a happy place to be. Lizzie is a woman whose mind is teetering on the edge, driven to do something so awful, and writing her own guide on how to cope along the way. The insight into marriage, and into a broken mind is chilling. There are times when the story feels a little disjointed (no pun intended!), but overall, this is a very cleverly written novel with touches of very very black humour, and an overwhelming feeling of sadness and pity

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marina Sofia

    What to think or say about this book? It certainly won't leave you indifferent! At first I found the descriptions of seasoning and cooking of human flesh rather nauseating, and perhaps there are a few too many of them, but they form a neat counterpoint to the otherwise so dull, so conventional and repressed ordinary life of a woman who has never felt loved, never excelled at anything, never seemed to have a mind of her own. Besides, it's not the first book featuring cannibalism (and in this case What to think or say about this book? It certainly won't leave you indifferent! At first I found the descriptions of seasoning and cooking of human flesh rather nauseating, and perhaps there are a few too many of them, but they form a neat counterpoint to the otherwise so dull, so conventional and repressed ordinary life of a woman who has never felt loved, never excelled at anything, never seemed to have a mind of her own. Besides, it's not the first book featuring cannibalism (and in this case there is a good reason for it: to get rid of the evidence). Muriel Spark in 'Aiding and Abetting' has a similarly dry or fiercely satirical humour about it. What is curious here is the matter-of-fact tone of the narrator, especially in those rather poignant little bullet points she jots down for herself. The author is too subtle to turn the husband into a monster, but perhaps there would have been more satisfaction in that. However, I think the book works best as an exercise in absurdity: the contrast between the horror of the extreme action and the politeness and normalcy of English country life.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Now that her husband is dead, Lizzie has a clear cut goal: move on and live. But first she has to deal with the sixteen pieces of Jacob wrapped in trash bags in her freezer. Her plan is simple - she's going to cook him and eat him, piece by piece, until there's nothing left. No body and no way to get caught for her crime. I really struggled with this book. When it hit shelves I was super excited. It sounded so dark and unique. But when I started reading it just wasn't hitting the spot. I left it Now that her husband is dead, Lizzie has a clear cut goal: move on and live. But first she has to deal with the sixteen pieces of Jacob wrapped in trash bags in her freezer. Her plan is simple - she's going to cook him and eat him, piece by piece, until there's nothing left. No body and no way to get caught for her crime. I really struggled with this book. When it hit shelves I was super excited. It sounded so dark and unique. But when I started reading it just wasn't hitting the spot. I left it and came back to it twice and never really found that it improved. First, if you're imagining some twisted revenge tale, this isn't that. There's nothing much to explain why Lizzie felt the need to kill Jacob in the first place. Second, the book is rather gory. Actually, though, if it had been a juicy revenge tale I don't think this would have bothered me as much (lord knows it doesn't usually). Third, I found the narrative particularly easy to lose track of and hard to follow at times. Sadly SEASON TO TASTE just wasn't what I'd hoped or expected it to be.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book should come with a warning at the beginning about how gruesome some of the scenes are, and after a 50 pages I wasn't sure if I really wanted to carry on as The humour was buried very deep under a swathe of very black olive oil, garlic, vegetables and other fascinating recipes that Jamie Oliver or Hugh FW, would be proud of. The plot is as it says on the front cover, Lizzie Prain a woman in her late 40's murders her husband and proceed to cook and eat his remains from the freezer in her This book should come with a warning at the beginning about how gruesome some of the scenes are, and after a 50 pages I wasn't sure if I really wanted to carry on as The humour was buried very deep under a swathe of very black olive oil, garlic, vegetables and other fascinating recipes that Jamie Oliver or Hugh FW, would be proud of. The plot is as it says on the front cover, Lizzie Prain a woman in her late 40's murders her husband and proceed to cook and eat his remains from the freezer in her Surrey home. A curious book it was certainly in parts graphic in the portrayal of the cooking and eating but I was interested enough in Lizzie and her life to read on although I came away not entirely clear about what her husband had done that was so bad. Would I recommend it? Not sure , it depends upon how thick a skin you have and how black your sense of humour, interesting though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I wouldn't have picked this to read if it hadn't been a birthday present. I'm still not sure if there was anything of merit to it, as the eating of Lizzie's murdered husband was a touch too grotesque at times for me which coloured my opinion a little. There were some rather poignant and frank descriptions of human nature which I enjoyed but I didn't like any of the characters much. Black humour...I'm not sure! I wouldn't have picked this to read if it hadn't been a birthday present. I'm still not sure if there was anything of merit to it, as the eating of Lizzie's murdered husband was a touch too grotesque at times for me which coloured my opinion a little. There were some rather poignant and frank descriptions of human nature which I enjoyed but I didn't like any of the characters much. Black humour...I'm not sure!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Miss Bananahammock

    Just finished this. Ending was a bit flat but the majority i really enjoyed it. It was really amusing and incredible that she was talking about preparing and eating bits of her husband, in such a matter of fact way. I also think it would be really amusing if you bought this and left it lying around for your husband to find😂😂😂😂😂

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leesa

    "Season to Taste" by Natalie Young. The cover blurb: " an enjoyable feast of anger- witty and poised" but I can't get past the gruesome descriptions of how the main character prepares to cook the husband she has murdered and dismembered. Yech. "Season to Taste" by Natalie Young. The cover blurb: " an enjoyable feast of anger- witty and poised" but I can't get past the gruesome descriptions of how the main character prepares to cook the husband she has murdered and dismembered. Yech.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Annie fgughufg

    I wish I had not wasted my time on this heartless , unrewarding read .

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie Block

    This book was so good! As the title states, it’s a book about a woman who is eating her husband. Through it all, she finds her courage and self-worth. Great read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandie

    This is NOT a spoiler alert because the cover of the book specifically reveals that Lizzie Prain kills her husband and eats him so she doesn't have to go to jail for the deed. But it's a whole lot more than just that. This book takes us through her non-emotional turmoil, her faltering decisions about actually eating all of him, her fantasies on how life will be afterword, and her dilema's regarding the seasonings and specific cooking of the bits and pieces to make it palatable. It's a lot to pro This is NOT a spoiler alert because the cover of the book specifically reveals that Lizzie Prain kills her husband and eats him so she doesn't have to go to jail for the deed. But it's a whole lot more than just that. This book takes us through her non-emotional turmoil, her faltering decisions about actually eating all of him, her fantasies on how life will be afterword, and her dilema's regarding the seasonings and specific cooking of the bits and pieces to make it palatable. It's a lot to process for a woman who never really lived before this life-changing deed. Interesting idea - handled with enough care and insight into an emotionally battered woman's psyche who never even realizes how sad and mundane her life actually is. Nicely done. I especially liked the recipes to mask the taste. I worried about Lizzie writing all those notes to herself though - easy way to get caught if anyone were to be seriously looking for answers as to why Jacob wasn't around. It wasn't clear if she kept them or not, but they were numbered... just saying. I had a bit of trouble getting into the jargon and lifestyles of a British subject, but once I got into the rhythm, it was easier to get on with the story. A good read for anyone who likes to explore the inner workings of someone's mind. Word of WARNING: I strongly suggest that you do not cook dinner with meat directly after reading this book - it really makes you wonder if Vegetarians have the right idea!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jalisa

    So.........what was to point of writing this book? I mean, it didn't really have a strong message. Like, I understand (I think) where the author was going with the "moral" of the story, but I don't think it fully got there. What I THINK she was trying to say is that sometimes only being alone and separated from those "you love" will be able to allow you to be free and without worries or stress. That is what I got from it, and that's a stretch. Maybe I just missed the mark, and that could be my f So.........what was to point of writing this book? I mean, it didn't really have a strong message. Like, I understand (I think) where the author was going with the "moral" of the story, but I don't think it fully got there. What I THINK she was trying to say is that sometimes only being alone and separated from those "you love" will be able to allow you to be free and without worries or stress. That is what I got from it, and that's a stretch. Maybe I just missed the mark, and that could be my fault. I only rate it 2 and not 1 star because one redeeming quality was the author's ability to make me squirm. It was extremely graphic, and those parts were written in my opinion very well. But that was only a small portion of the story. Otherwise it was just nonsense. There was no point in remembering any of the character's names. They don't matter to the plot. And not much happened anyway. There were a lot of flashbacks and I often found myself confused as to if it was present day or not. The only way I could figure it out was if she mentioned her dead husband or not. This book had a great premise, and had the opportunity to be amazing, but it was SO BORING and there was NO POINT! I didn't even really get a good perspective on what it would be like if I killed my husband and ate his body- what it would be like. Because the writing was just so bland. Oh well. I tried!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sky

    I read a review stating they didnt know how a book about murdering and eating your husband could be dull and boring.. And seriously that person was spot on! This isnt a bad book, nothing persay wrong with it.. Its just DULL! I can see how some people would enjoy how the story is written in a list from about how to get through the process of eating and cooking your husband.. But not me. Its almost like a fictional how-to books. There isn't really anymore to the storyline past what the description I read a review stating they didnt know how a book about murdering and eating your husband could be dull and boring.. And seriously that person was spot on! This isnt a bad book, nothing persay wrong with it.. Its just DULL! I can see how some people would enjoy how the story is written in a list from about how to get through the process of eating and cooking your husband.. But not me. Its almost like a fictional how-to books. There isn't really anymore to the storyline past what the description of the book states. There isnt even a juicy reason why she killed him. They were both simply bored with the relationship and so she just killed him without remorse. Of course she didnt want to get caught and ruin her life, so she had to get rid of the body. And what better way to do that than to eat it? This book will give yoi good descriptions on how to cook a leg or a brain. Or maybe spice up meat at a local market if you dont have a dead body laying around anywhere 😒. Seriously it took everything in me not to DNF this book. I resorted to using it as background noise basically. Even the british accent of the audio book couldnt spice it up enough! At least this book was short. 😒

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leothur Cadette

    I just finished reading this book a few minutes ago and it was so draining that I barely have any energy left to write this review. Given the subject matter of murdering and subsequently eating one’s husband, I was expecting a book which lightened the mood with some serious laugh out loud humour. From the synopsis and reviews highlighted on the book itself, it seemed like that was the approach. The humour in the book is very dry however and the story itself was gory to a fault. Overall I was bor I just finished reading this book a few minutes ago and it was so draining that I barely have any energy left to write this review. Given the subject matter of murdering and subsequently eating one’s husband, I was expecting a book which lightened the mood with some serious laugh out loud humour. From the synopsis and reviews highlighted on the book itself, it seemed like that was the approach. The humour in the book is very dry however and the story itself was gory to a fault. Overall I was bored throughout the book and painfully forced myself to get through it because I do not like living novels unfinished. I do encourage anyone reading this review to read the book for yourself however and make your opinion.

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