I really wanted to love this book and it started out with so much promise but by twenty pages in I started to lose interest. The plot had so much potential but seemed to get lost in an effort to write this book in a way that seemed edgy and intelligent for the sake of appearing intelligent. If you don't want to be spoiled I suggest you skip this review as my rating relies a lot on unpacking the issues I had with this novel.
Massive trigger warnings for rape, sexual assault, FGM, PTSD and violence.
Peach is a teenage girl and this super short story opens as she is walking home after being sexually assaulted, though the word is never explicitly said it's clear from the description that she's been the victim of rape. In particular by a much older man. Peaches parents are oblivious to her pain both physically and emotionally as their entire focus is on the new baby and also each other. This is the plot that really drew me to the book. I thought it would be a novel where Peach not only confronts what happened to her but calls out her mentally absent parents. This isn't what we got. There's an awful lot of bizarre metaphor used that I couldn't wrap my head around. Peach's narration seems to suggest that most of the people in her life she likens to food in some way. The rapist she says had sausages for fingers and left trails of grease as a slug does and her sibling is coated in sugar and feels like jelly and her teacher Mr. Custard melts like custard. I tried to rationalise this thinking perhaps she distances herself from the real world due to her trauma but it just didn't make sense.
Consistently throughout the novel, Peach makes reference to her weight in a highly negative way. Whereas her boyfriend is indifferent to this fact about her until he asks if her weight gain could possibly be due to pregnancy as they are intimate. I don't think Peaches perception of herself is healthy and one scene in particular stuck out to me where she holds a pair of scissors to her stomach and debates cutting it off. It's horrendous. I'm not entirely sure if this is medically accurate in the way I'm going to describe it but the weight gain/bloating she experiences is possibly due to something she does. After her rape, she sews herself up...down there. I can only assume that mutilation is the cause of the following change in her body. It's such a harrowing and disgusting scene that frankly wasn't necessary. This book is shocking for the sake of being shocking.
Oh and after that, there's some cannibalism.
It's gratuitous to the nth degree in both violence, shock and the frankly nonsensical narrative tone.
The end of the novel seemed to suggest that either Peach turned into a peach or somehow managed to birth the stone of a peach.
I don't think I've ever publically rated or roasted a book like this.
If you enjoyed it then brilliant, I'm glad it found the right reader because it certainly wasn't me.
Author: Emma Glass
Have you read Peach?
What did you think?
Thank you for reading,