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The Crack Magazine

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How To Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann

Five women meet in a basement support group. The twist? They’re all reimaginings of fairy tale characters. Adelmann’s first novel shows her skill with short fiction, as each woman tells a separate story. She then masterfully weaves these together with overarching themes and a feeling of unease. The “girlfriend of Bluebeard”, Little Red, and the most recent winner of a dating show – these women all are torn apart in the media circus surrounding their infamous stories. Adelmann raises very modern issues of how women’s stories are told, often through the lens of someone else, always with little hope of fitting the right box. Instead, they turn to each other to listen and recount. Not that this group is the most supportive. But the snipes are darkly funny, and their vastly different ways of coping become more understandable. The tales they tell call back to the darker origins of fairytales, with no shortage of violence. The morals throughout? They are timeless. KM

Published by Little Brown