Natalie Young - Season to Taste; or How to Eat Your Husband
A macabre tale with a gruesome sense of humour but lack of pace
Natalie Young reveals an appetite for the grotesque in her new novel, a darkly comic tale about a disillusioned fiftysomething who kills her husband – then gradually cooks and eats him to hide the evidence. The murdering wife, Lizzie Prain, isn’t the victim of abuse or adultery. Instead, simmering resentments gnaw away at her marriage until after 30 years, she’s driven to smash in her spouse’s skull.
Young, also a journalist, showcased some of this dark imagination in her debut novel, 2011’s We All Ran Into the Sunlight. And in Season to Taste, she brings out a gruesome sense of humour, too: the colourful descriptions of Lizzie’s ‘meals’ could come right out of the mouth of Delia Smith.
But while the book hits the right note of morbid amusement, there’s not quite enough blood and guts to keep horror lovers satisfied, and the pace isn’t quick enough to live up to the thriller it’s pitched to be. But Young delivers an authentic portrait of a neglected marriage, and her light and compelling prose carries this macabre tale along.