Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente | Novella Review

Catherynne M. Valente’s novella Comfort Me With Apples was a bit of an interesting reading experience — different from the expectations I had. I went into this book excited to try something from Valente that was not middle grade fantasy. Also, glad that I only had to commit to a novella. I ended up reading this strange, little story in one single setting. My mind is also still spinning a little bit from it — but in a good way.

Comfort Me With Apples follows a woman named Sophia. She believes that she was made for her husband who is just perfect for her. Sophia lives in a gated community with a whole lot of rules called Arcadia Gardens. However, one day she wakes up and feels that something is a little bit off. When people ask her if she’s happy, she doesn’t quite know what to say. As she’s cooking she finds these strange remains — a fingernail, part of a bone. Sophia begins questioning. What results is a bit of a journey to reveal the truth about her husband and the life that she is currently living.

I really got a strong Bluebeard vibe from this novella. Throughout the story, Sophia is told she can’t go in the basement. There’s renovations. Soon the basement will be ready for her to go into. And so, there’s this whole curiosity about what is in the basement and this undercurrent of danger.

Then we get into this whole biblical vibe. Valente’s novella is weird and wonderful. I mean, did I like the ending? Not so much, but that’s because of the attachment I formed to Sophia. This was a really well contained novella that I felt had a clear resolution and did not leave me feeling as though it needed to be a full length book. This is exactly the kind of thing I like to experience when I pick a novella up. Plus, I now feel more inclined after reading Comfort Me With Apples to pick up a full length adult book from Valente.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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