Tiger Tiger - Margaux Fragoso

A Review from Keeping it Kinky


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Tiger Tiger Cover

Tiger Tiger -

Review scored four out of five stars

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: March 1, 2011
ISBN: 0374277621
Reviewed By:
Review Date: April 4, 2016
Category: Memoir, Abuse, Relationships

Back Cover Summary:

One summer day, Margaux Fragoso meets Peter Curran at the neighborhood swimming pool, and they begin to play. She is seven; he is fifty-one. When Peter invites her and her mother to his house, the little girl finds a child’s paradise of exotic pets and an elaborate backyard garden. Her mother, beset by mental illness and overwhelmed by caring for Margaux, is grateful for the attention Peter lavishes on her, and he creates an imaginative universe for her, much as Lewis Carroll did for his real-life Alice.

In time, he insidiously takes on the role of Margaux’s playmate, father, and lover. Charming and manipulative, Peter burrows into every aspect of Margaux’s life and transforms her from a child fizzing with imagination and affection into a brainwashed young woman on the verge of suicide. But when she is twenty-two, it is Peter—ill, and wracked with guilt—who kills himself, at the age of sixty-six.

Told with lyricism, depth, and mesmerizing clarity, Tiger, Tiger vividly illustrates the healing power of memory and disclosure. This extraordinary memoir is an unprecedented glimpse into the psyche of a young girl in free fall and conveys to readers—including parents and survivors of abuse—just how completely a pedophile enchants his victim and binds her to him.

Tiger Tiger: Reviewer Comments on Rating

Tiger Tiger was an interesting but at times difficult read. The author does a fantastic job engaging the reader in how the story is told. Margaux Fragoso also gives the reader a complete accounting of her thoughts and experiences while laying out clearly what is happening in her relationship with Peter. I found at times reading some of the passages extremely uncomfortable to picture and I had to set the book down for a time. I have read some other reviews that claim the level of detail was unnecessary and the memoir far too graphic. These reviews argue that it perpetuates the abuse. While I agree that this book has some graphic content, the nature of the book is uncomfortable to begin with. If the author had been less graphic in her telling then many of the thoughts and feelings that she relates would not be as clear to the reader. The uncomfortable scenes are related without pornographic flourish aside to include the detail required to connect the reader to her emotional state.

Margaux Fragosos tells the story through the eyes of her child and teenage self, relating her thoughts and feelings at the time of the events, not really through the eyes of her adult self. Survivors of abuse need an outlet to explore their experience and literature such as this could be helpful to others to know that they are not alone in the range of reactions they may feel. The emotions felt by those with similar experiences are complex and typically not short on shame. I found this memoir really covered the full array of sentiments and feelings a child would have growing up in these circumstances. This would not be a book for everyone but those who wish to understand sexual abuse and pedophilia from a victim perspective could gain some real insights from this memoir.

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