Hardcover. 112 pages.
About Comfort Me With Apples:
"Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.
It's just that he's away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.
But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband's face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can't quite meet her gaze...
But everything is perfect. Isn't it?"
Comfort Me With Apples is an odd little novella, but I would expect nothing less from Catherynne Valente. I've been struggling with how to adequately summarize this novella without saying too much and it's proven to be a bit of a task. In essence, this is a story about a woman, Sophia, who lives in what may be seen by some to be an idyllic, perfect community with her husband, whom she loves more than anything and essentially bases her entire life around. Things unfortunately begin to take a somewhat darker turn when Sophia begins to discover some unexpected items around her house and thus starts to question her life and surroundings.
Comfort Me With Apples is an incredibly sharp, intelligent, and clever story that is littered with hints and clues about some greater themes and backdrops that are at play than may be realized. Once I got near the end and started connecting a lot of the dots that had been laid out for me without realizing, I started making all of those connections that were right in front of me the entire time. This book has a lot of mythology incorporated into it in both overt and subtle ways that really made this an entertaining story to read.
The writing is beautiful and flows effortlessly, and no matter how weird the things happening on the page are, it's hard not to be drawn into Valente's writing. Not to mention that the weird things happening on the page are, in fact, captivating in their own right and for their own reasons.
Overall, I've given Comfort Me With Apples four stars! This was an unexpected, yet diverting read that gave me something new to ponder and enjoy. This is a quick read because you just have to keep turning the pages, so I would absolutely recommend to anyone even remotely curious about it.