I found Peach while I was randomly checking out new releases in my favourite book shop in town. My eyes fell on the cover and the author had my attention from the very first sentence. ‘Thick stick sticky sticking wet ragged wool winding round the wounds, stitching the sliced skin together as I walk, scraping my mittened hand against the wall.’ I read sentences after sentences till I finished the first page and decided I needed to buy this book. It is one of a kind book that does not talk about rape as it happened to a third person.
Cover page is not very attractive at the first glance but you will come back for it. There is a peach on the cover and a thread in the needle that tells you so much about the story inside. But you will not figure it out immediately. You will read the book and realise what the cover is about. It is one of the most subtle and meaningful covers that I have seen lately.
The story is about this teenage girl called Peach. She is a regular school going student who has a normal life. She has a boyfriend named Green who features extensively in the story inside. Peach had a normal life with secret admirers and really close family. Peach’s family members feature in story as well. But all of what we know about the dad, mom and the baby are from Peach’s point of view which is not very articulate right now.
Peach sees the baby covered with sugar and parents as sex driven maniacs.
The book opens with a gory detail of a teenagers who has just been raped. She is raped bloody. She is trying to walk back to her house with ragged wool carelessly sticking to the wounds and fingers scraping on to the brick walls. She somehow reached home only to shut herself in her room so that her parents don’t see her. Of course they do! But they do not notice anything different. They ask her to come down for dinner. Amidst a nymphatic occurrences between the couple the teenager finds herself oddly uncomfortable.
Peach is wounded but no one notices. The parents are busy being sexually active. So Peach decides to stitch herself up. This is the first time on page number 5 that I put the book down and didn’t read a word for the rest of the day. The gruesome description is unlike anything I have read before.
I take the mirror from the shelf. I spread the towel on the floor and sit with my back against the door. I part my legs slowly and slot the mirror between my thighs. I put my hand over my mouth to stop the sick. I use my other hand to touch. The skin is split. Slit. Sliced. With two trembling fingers I touch the split skin, hold the slit together. Blood dribbles delicately. I look closely into the mirror. Fluid streams from my eyes, trickles over my tummy, runs into the red. Little rivers. Little ribbons. Slithers of silk. Torn skin. Stained scarlet.
I picked up the book the next day and braced myself. Peach is a teenager who has a loving family around but no one can actually help her. The narration is filled with self doubt bordering to hallucinations. She is not able to distinguish from real to illusion. The life goes on as usual but she only sees people melting and shadows following her everywhere.
But what I liked in the entire book was how she took her revenge in her own way. There is a gory description of murder and cannibalism. There is also animalistic love that believes in conquering someone’s love through violence. I am not saying I liked the violence but the events are described in chilling details. I couldn’t help but applaud the author.
There is a lot of symbolism in the book. I understood how after talking about sausages Peach decided to give food characteristics to all the people around. The baby is showered with sugar and the teacher is a custard. Colors and food items define a lot of imagery in the book which is mark of beautiful writing. The story by itself is interesting where we see a victim getting up and carrying on with her life, even though it maybe just her imagination.
This is the most beautiful part of the book. Many related the writing to that of Eimear McBride in ‘The Lesser Bohemians’. But I felt differently. It did have the same chill but Glass has used other literary tools to make the narration interesting along with her short broken sentences. The narration is hard hitting. Even though just one sentence does not make sense but when you put sentences after sentences to describe a situation, writing is painfully beautiful.
I loved the cover. The character Peach is written beautifully. I loved her as a person as well. The content is so beautiful that you are pained but want to continue reading just the same. The language is gripping. It will not let to go unless you have heard it completely.
There is just too much pain. It is the first time that I have read a book like this and it there are too many things to feel along with sorrow .
This book is a gem. It needs to be on everyone’s shelf. It has to be read and circulated.
Whom do I recommend this to
Those who like experimental literature are going to love this one. Those who like good narration are also going to find this one intriguing.
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