Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

Tiger, Tiger is a deeply disturbing and frank memoir about a young woman’s relationship with a pedophile from the age of seven to the age of twenty-two (when he committed suicide at the age of sixty-six).

Once I began Tiger, Tiger, part of me wanted to stop reading it and part of me couldn’t put it down. The author’s story at the beginning is not entirely believable, because she includes conversations that she could not possibly remember word for word. However, the further I got into the book the more real her feelings came across; even if the dialog could not be completely accurate, the sense of what she was trying to convey rang true.

The author is clearly very conflicted. She had a troubled home life and turned toward her molester for affection and attention. Although now, as an adult, she acknowledges that he was a pedophile, she still loves him and remembers his love for her. She recognizes that he needed help and should have been stopped (she was not the only child he molested), but she can’t deny how important he was to her. She writes, “spending time with a pedophile can be like a drug high” and “I was Peter’s religion.”

Tiger, Tiger provides insight into a relationship most of us can’t (and would not want to) imagine. If the psychology of the complicated relationship between an abuser and his long-time victim interests you, you may find it a compelling read.

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