Novel Review: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

As some know, I have a slight addiction to giveaways. You can check out my contest page for an idea of how bad it’s gotten.Well, on my scavenger for contests to enter, I hit upon an event hosted by Leontine’s Book Realm last month. She listed a free eRead from an indie author: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas. Well, I figured I’d give it a try. Before I get any further, the blurb from Ms. Thomas‘ website:

Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He’s far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Told in the first person from Emily’s perspective, Comfort Food explores what happens when all expectations  of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment.

With my to read pile reaching the ceiling, I’ve tried to be a bit more selective about the books I start. I haven’t had much success in the past with indie authors, so I was a bit leery of this novel. Instead of diving in head first, I just did a little tentative dip of my toes…disclaimer. That’s right. I didn’t even hit the first paragraph before I was intrigued. And a bit uncomfortable, I might add. Non-consensual BSDM and slavery. Oh Dear! My first thoughts were, I didn’t think I was going to like it, but I wanted to see how much it would take to mentally disgust me. I honestly didn’t even expect to finish the book. I was sure I’d just get far enough to give the author a psychic scream, then rant at my husband later at the nerve of the woman for writing the book.

Well, it didn’t turn out that way. Ms. Thomas immediately drew me in by connecting with me on a female level. She addressed the many fears I have as a woman, even though I don’t acknowledge them on a daily basis. I don’t obsess about my fears of victimization. It’s just something which is a part of me because I know I’m vulnerable because of size and strength. It’s the idea something bad could happen, but the possibility is unlikely (the rationalization I give myself so I don’t end up balled in some corner cowering in fear)…even though the chances of being a victim is horribly high (see statistics here). 17.6% of women have survived an attempted or completed rape, that’s not even taking into account other types of physical assaults. Think of 5 or 6 women you know. Then consider 1 of them might have been a victim of sexual assault. Sad and scary.

I loved how Ms. Thomas addressed the low level of fear which is healthy enough to keep most women cautious, but not so extreme it debilitates us. I’ve never read a book which provided that kind of balance and understanding despite the fact most books I read were written by women and about women. Well done! Even thinking about it now makes me want to shake Ms. Thomas’ hand and say thank you for sharing what it feels like to be a woman.

Back to the novel. 🙂 It was fiction made real…a journey which took me into the mind of a woman (Emily) who was a victim of kidnapping. She was dehumanized, broken, and pieced back together like a Picasso painting. It wasn’t a comfortable read which gave me the warm and fuzzies. Yet I couldn’t put the book down as it pulled me in page after page.

Favorite Passages:

  • The door creaked open then, exactly like doors do in scary movies. At least now I knew what kind of story I was in, no sense fooling myself about it.
  • I imagine this was what Ted Bundy’s victims felt at some point, that it was utterly impossible he could want to hurt them and be so beautiful at the same time.
  • But I had nothing else to call him, except the monster who had take me.

I started this book with a bad attitude. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book in one sitting, page after page after page. If you’ve checked out my sidebar, you might have noticed I added a new widget “2010 Favorite Reads.” Comfort Foods was so good, it made my list, which only includes three books at the moment.

My biggest disappointment about the entire experience was reaching the end and finding Kitty Thomas has yet to publish another book. Please Ms. Thomas, don’t make us wait too long!

If you’re willing to step out of the box, head to || Smashwords and get you some!

Available at Barnes & Nobles || Amazon || The Book Depository || Kobo || iTunes || Smashwords

0 thoughts on “Novel Review: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

  1. Thank you for the lovely review! I’m hoping to release the next book, Guilty Pleasures, in December.

    Comfort Food is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in the Kindle stores and will be available in hardcover in October.

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