This was really dark, even more so than her other novel, Mud Vein. I nearly set it down, but ultimately the message was so powerful that I had to go back and finish it.
Marrow is about an eighteen year old girl named Margo who lives in a neighbourhood called the Bone. She lives with her mother who speaks to her as little as possible, certainly not in the way that a mother should, instead choosing to communicate with her via notes. Margo feels like she’s invisible, but things begin to change when she develops a friendship with her disabled neighbour, Judah. Like most Tarryn Fisher novels this is a complex tale, dripping with metaphor and symbolism that I wouldn’t want to ruin by going into any further depth, so I’ll leave it there.
This book tackled themes such as abuse, addiction and prostitution, but it never felt like it was too much. There were several scenes that were harrowing, but I felt these were needed for a couple of reasons. Firstly it gave credence to why Margo behaved as she did and secondly it highlighted how the author feels about the way we refuse to confront the reality of the horror that goes on in the world. Of course those scenes were there to shock, but that’s what the author felt was needed to convey the message.
Every step that Margo took felt like it was laced with oppression. The setting and the description all complemented the atmosphere the author wanted to establish. Even when Margo entered a new setting it was like the oppression followed her.
I hope you’ve all gotten the idea that this isn’t a light read, but a very important one that I hope has the impact it was created to make.