Deerskin: Chapters 1-12

I wasn’t expecting to like reading Deerskin – we knew prior to reading it that there would be incest and sexual assault, so I was admittedly wary. After all, while these are important topics to be aware of, they are also generally sad in nature, and when given the choice I tend to prefer happy reading material as a way to forget about all of the sadness in the world around us. I will admit that I did not have high hopes for Deerskin; I figured it would be a book I would get through, but probably not one I would enjoy.

And I was wrong. Yes, Deerskin is sad, and yes there’s incest and rape and it is probably the most disturbing story we have read so far – not simply for its content, but for the manner in which the content is presented. For example, rape also occurred in Sun, Moon, and Talia, but it was much easier to set that story aside and put it out of my mind – it was a short story, and while its events were alarming they were only temporarily so.

Not so with Deerskin, which lets the reader grow attached to Lissar before horrors befall her. I was already rooting for her by the time the rape occurred, which made it genuinely distressing to read. Even though there was ample foreshadowing, I still hoped that there was some way Lissar would be able to escape, so it all came as quite the shock. I can’t help but feel terrible for Lissar at this point in the story – nobody deserves to go through what she has gone through.

But even through all that, I’m still rooting for her. Her escape from the palace even while injured shows that Lissar is strong and that she’s got some fight in her personality, which I hope will make the rest of the story interesting. I will be curious to see how she continues to cope with her new situation. I’m even enjoying reading about her tale in the meantime – it’s so well-written that even the sad scenes have beauty in the way they’re told. The story is captivating and I’m intrigued to read more.

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