Comfort Food was the first book I read by Kitty. It was free at the time, and another author recommended it, and I thought, well, it’s free, might as well. And I definitely am glad I did.
Here’s our story. Emily is a self-help author, and does reasonably well. She has a degree in psychology and basically knows what she’s talking about. She thinks that she’s pretty aware of things that women need to do to keep themselves safe, including not leaving her drink alone. Except for the one day that she did.
She wakes up tied to a chair, blindfolded. There is no sound anywhere. Finally, a man comes in and feeds her chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers, with water. At least, he feeds her as long as she lets him touch her. If she says no or flinches, then he stops. He never says anything to her, just feeds her, unties her, and leaves her in a room with a toilet, a drain, and a biometric and coded lock on the door.
That is how Emily’s journey starts. In that room. With no interaction. With no stimulation. The only time her captor comes in the room is when she is in the far corner, as far away from the door as she can be, and even then, he only comes in long enough to slide in her trays of food, chicken noodle soup and saltines, with bottles of water, three times a day, or to slide in a bucket of water and bathing supplies.
This book is incredibly intimate, for so many reasons. It’s all from Emily’s POV, and we learn so much about her. We are in her head the whole time, and we are drawn into her journey and why she makes the choices that she does. They aren’t ever really easy choices, and they might not be the choices that I would’ve made in my life, but I’ve never been in that place, so I don’t know what I would and wouldn’t do. Even though we see in her head, and see why she is making the choices she does, I still wonder if she is doing the right thing for her or not. But isn’t that the joy of reading a book like this?
This is one that I’ve gone back to reread several times and every time I read it, I get new and different insights from it. I expect that will continue to be the case every time I read it in the future. Kitty knew what she was doing with this one. If you pick it up, be prepared for a roller coaster ride.
There’s no spoilers down below. Anyway, go pick it up, you’ll thank me. If you haven’t read anything else that Kitty Thomas has written, I can’t recommend her enough.