Tender Morsels is a strange tale shaped by the interplay of real and magical worlds. As a response to trauma, Liga inhabits a magic world that protects her and her two young daughters. 

Urdda, who is the wilder of the two children, longs to leave the safe haven the moon “bab” has created for her mother. She attempts to rejoin the Bear who has disappeared by jumping up in the air near a cliff’s edge. Naturally, this alarms Mam.

“Girls were not meant to fly. Where are your feathers? Where are your wings?” Liga tells her daughter Urdda.

Though she cannot follow this bear, Urdda encounters a second bear.

Eventually, by pushing the walls of the second bear’s cave, Urdda leaves her mother’s “heaven” or place of her hearts desire.

As soon as Urdda enters this real world, she faces danger. She is chased by a bear–not a real one this time, but a danger nonetheless. She finds her mother’s cottage has become a ruin. 

Urdda quickly uncovers Lady Anne’s secrets. Lady Anne practiced “hedge” witchcraft against the advice of a more experienced witch. Urdda also uncovers Mam’s secrets which she immediately regrets. Understanding Mam’s situation, Urdda is dismayed that, “she could not go back to that blissful, blessed state of not knowing.”

Urdda can only go forward toward her future mission as a witch herself.

If you need another novel marked with strangeness, try Parakeet by Marie-Helene Bertino.

by Chantal W.