Review: Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente

Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher: Tor.com
Released: November 9th, 2021
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Graphic nature, controlling behavior

3 1/2 kitties

Catherynne M. Valente’s latest novel, Comfort Me With Apples, is unlike anything I have ever read before. It’s a horror with fantasy elements…or is it a fantasy with horror elements? Either way, this world has pulled heavily from both genres – with chilling effects.

Sophia is a woman that knows her place in life. She was made for her husband, a man who is very busy and works very hard. That work takes him away from her on a regular basis, leaving her alone in Arcadia Gardens.

The longer things go on the more cracks in the wall Sophia spots. Not literal cracks, per se. But cracks nonetheless. What Sophia finds is more than enough reason to be concerned about her very existence – and what her husband will do when he learns she’s figuring things out.

“I was made for him.”

Wow. I went into Comfort Me With Apples thinking I knew what I was about to find, and I was wrong. So very wrong. It was a pleasant surprise in many ways – I love it when authors can twist a story into something entirely their own.

On that note, I knew that Comfort Me With Apples was a retelling. What surprised me was which story Catherynne M. Valente chose to retell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one done before, and I doubt that I’ll ever see it again.

I’ll admit, the story of Adam and Eve made for a terrifying good foundation here. It set the scene, leaving plenty of room for chilling events, haunting repetition, and so much more. From the very first page, I knew I didn’t like that line – “I was made for him.” The repetition made it all the more chilling, and for very good reason.

I’m sure that every reviewer out there is going to pick a different book or movie to compare Comfort Me With Apples to. Personally, it felt reminiscent of The Stepford Wives, but with a dash of Animal Farm.

Thanks to Tor.com and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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