Book Review: How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann

Plot Summary.

Meeting on a weekly basis, five women are sharing their narratives with one another in an attempt to confront their trauma and mental health challenges. Led by a man named Will, their collective appears initially beneficial, perceptive, and highly trained to guide a therapy group of this nature. Most of the women have garnered some level of media attention in the past, so they all possess some knowledge about each other. Hansel recounts an entirely distinct experience, whereas Gretel managed to escape from a house constructed entirely of candy where she had been held captive. On the other hand, Ruby proudly dons a coat crafted from wolf fur, which serves as a memento of the perilous creature that deceived her before she managed to free herself. Ashlee, who recently emerged as the victor of a popular reality dating show, presents as perfect on the surface but secretly struggles within a loveless and dysfunctional marriage that she is desperate to salvage. Bernice had a romantic involvement with the infamous “Bluebeard,” a wealthy technology magnate who sports a striking blue beard and treats women as if they were mere objects, eventually exposing his violent tendencies at the very last moment. The only woman without a public persona is Raina, yet her tale involves a peculiar little man known exclusively to the reader as Rumpelstiltskin.

My Thoughts.

Author Maria Adelmann

Do I still ponder the lingering doubt that writing cleverly reflects? Is it true that our own worst enemy, even when faced with an antagonist like a wolf, is ourselves? What does it mean when women are referred to as the antagonizers, even in our own worst enemy scenarios? This basement meeting room can be seen as a trap, subjecting each victim to another public trial based on what they have or haven’t done. Although it was advertised as a safe environment, it may seem like a trap. Instead of supporting each other, this group is filled with doubt, arguments, and infighting. Surprisingly, this book does not nitpick these recollections but rather serves to point out how horrific and patriarchal society’s standards are. The biggest difference we notice when hearing these experiences is that the storyteller has survived, baring the scars of these encounters. And the biggest difference of all is the lens of a modern-day feminist, which brings a much different experience than the simplistic versions from long ago. Reading these women’s stories allows us to hear about their experiences and understand the difference.

Raina appeared to have a good appearance, but her life was plagued by poverty. Instead of delving into uncomfortable questions about women’s struggles with gender, we chose to explore the relationships between the characters in their respective stories. It would be overly simplistic to solely blame men for all these problems faced by women – we must be cautious not to place blame solely on one group. I was consistently impressed by the way the characters challenged each other and the overall journey.

My father always said, “Give to have what you sell,” my father always said. Why was it advantageous to use different ones? I was born into my body and born into money. I was sure she never smiled at lecherous diners for an extra buck – I was sure of it. I was sure she never waitressed before.

-p. 255 of How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann

In the distant past, delving into the obscure truths of those narratives, it uncovers a perceptive examination of the mysterious aspects of human behavior, exposed by the fables we recall from our early years, which enhanced my admiration for it. This book embraces these unsettling reflections and recollections, asserting that she had to ‘struggle’ for her success while others used their sexuality to advance, after Raina’s colleague reprimanded her for having a sexual relationship with their supervisor, the aforementioned interaction was remembered.