Friday, January 11, 2013

Tiger, Tiger (a memoir) by Margaux Fragoso

Synopsis :

I still think about Peter, the man I loved most in the world, all the time.

At two in the afternoon, when he would come and pick me up and take me for rides, at five, when I would read to him, head on his chest, in the despair at seven pm, when he would hold me and rub my belly for an hour; in the despair again at nine pm, when we would go fora night ride, down to the Royal Cliffs Diner in Englewood Cliffs where I would buy a cup of coffee with precisely seven sugars and a lot of cream. We were friends, soul mates and lovers.

I was seven. He was fifty-one.

Let me warn you that this is a rather disturbing book to read.  Especially if you are a mother. Even more so if you are a mother with young children.  Such, it's rather disturbing for me to share this review with you.  I read this book sometimes toward the end of last year and I have put aside doing this review for quite a while. First, it was that I didn't want to end the year with a review of such book. Then it was because I didn't want to start the year with a review of such book.  Then I realised there's not right timing and I should just get it done.  However, by then, I was rather lost on what to write.  After opening and closing the draft for like hundreds of time (it felt like hundreds of time!) I realised that I should just grab the bull by the horn and run with it.  Here goes....

This book is a first person narration of the author's relationship with a man 44 years her senior. His name was Peter and he was 44 years old when Margaux she was born.  Margaux met him with her mother one day in the park when she's about 6 years old.   From then on, they begin to visit him and his family in his house and you can say that's how it all started.

The author was quite vivid in some of her description of what they did together, to the extend of describing what his anatomy looks like.  It was done not for any erotic reason but more, I think, with the intention to shock and to put across the message through that the experience that she went through was really real to her and for her and it was part of her life. It was part of her.

From Tiger, Tiger, we know that the man was a pedophile (although she didn't use this word to describe him) and she shared in the book how he worked his charm to bring forth her trust in him. His seduction of her was slowly (over years) but surely.  She let us have glimpses of how his mind worked and how it affected her in every aspects of her life even when she wasn't aware of it, the mental brainwash that he put her through and telling her that what they were doing are okay, the emotional jail that she was in and her inability to break free.

I really had a difficult time with this book but yet, I read on as I learned a lot from it.  Many times, I just felt like not continuing and just left it in the storage rack (yes, i didn't even want it on my bookshelf but left it in a rack) but I felt compelled to just compete it.  It is a tragedy but the author seems to be able to overcome the experience after attempts of suicide, etc.  You can say she rose up like phoenix from the ashes and one of the reason she said she wrote this memoir is to let people know not just her story but how it is real in our society and how important it is for us to open our eyes to see, to read certain signs a victim might exhibit and know ways the perpetrator do to gain trust and acceptance from its victims.

There. My review of a tragic tale. Finally I got it done. Tiger, Tiger (a memoir) by Margaux Fragoso.  I will never forget this book.  I will never want to read it again.


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