Cover Image: Tale of a Tooth: Heart-rending story of domestic abuse through a child’s eyes

Tale of a Tooth: Heart-rending story of domestic abuse through a child’s eyes

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Member Reviews

Ah man I loved the book, and especially Danny and his mum (meemaw) hated the manipulative and abusive Karen with a passion though 😠 

Danny is a fantastic little boy of 4yrs and the book is written from Danny's point of view and everything about it is brilliant, the way he talks and describes the world and what goes on really hits home and hard at times. I’m not gonna say anymore just go buy the book!!!!

Just loved it and wanted to read it all over again after I’d finished, brilliant more please.
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A novel about domestic abuse within a lesbian relationship, narrated by a young protagonist on the Autistic Spectrum. I felt that this book was not in the same tier as similar books like Room and The Curious Incident (until books with Autistic protagonists become more 'mainstream', I'm afraid comparisons are inevitable) However, I was pleased to find a book which covered woman-on-woman domestic violence and financial abuse- topics which have been overlooked by the media until very recently. I also appreciated the author's dedication to libraries and the support they offer to people in financial distress. This might be the first realistic fiction book I've found that features a heroic librarian!
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Tale of a Tooth is told by Danny, a little boy living with his mum in a small flat, and follows their lives after his mum meets her new partner Karen. 

The best thing about this book is undoubtedly Danny's relationship with his mum. Danny is not your typical three year old and their understanding of each other is really lovely to read. 

Initially I found Danny's speech quite difficult to follow and I remember thinking, a few chapters in, that he didn't sound like any of the three year olds I know but this is because he isn't and as I understood him more, I got used to it and thankfully didn't give up on what is a great book.
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This book is a great example of the adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover." When you first look at it, particularly if you receive a digital edition, it looks like it should be a chapter book or middle school novel. When you start reading the book it becomes clear that the cover is due to its narrator, four-year-old Danny. Danny's life is not easy, but his Meemaw does her best to make it a happy one. Enter Karen, a woman from the Job Centre who lulls  Natalie (Danny's mom) into a relationship and later turns abusive. 

This is a riveting book, but it is difficult to read in the same way that Emma Donoghue's book Room was: the innocence of the narrator highlights the pain and suffering his mother is going through and the brave front she puts up for his benefit.
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The story and concept were fine, but as with Emma Donoghue’s “Room” I struggled with the young narrator.
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This book is not the typical domestic abuse story, as this one is told via four year old Danny.  His mom has lost her benefits due to a benefits sanction. She is offered assistance by a job center employee and embarks in a relationship that leads to domestic abuse. This book is written entirely through Danny, so it gives a realistic view of what domestic abuse is like for a child to witness.
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This book seemed interesting in the beginning, and I felt that there was something special about reading from the point of view of a child who is experiencing the harshness of society and relationships while growing. Danny is our main protagonist and lives in a world where all he cares about is his dinosaurs and his Meemaw. However, when a woman comes into their lives everything suddenly changes, and not exactly in the best way.

The protagonist's perspective was rough to get used it but after a few chapters I got a hold in what the author was trying to show, but I felt it was more "tell" than a show, considering there are realistic and mature themes in this book. I applaud the LGBT+ aspect of this book. 

However, I pushed myself to the brink of stopping at 50%. While the idea was interesting and bold, I think that the actual outcome of this book could have been better and that it felt far too slow moving for my taste. I know that there are others who will enjoy this more than me, but I have no interest in further reading or finishing this book. But I do hope others get something out of it. 

I have no doubt this book has morally gray characters and an interesting theme, but the writing for myself and my personal taste were not clicking. Unfortunately, this is a DNF at 50%
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This book really hit home.  Rogers gets the aspects of abuse almost too right for someone with PTSD. It was a bit hard to read Being from Danny point of view but that led credence to the emotions of the story.
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Tale of a Tooth by Allie Rogers is a story about lesbian domestic violence told through the eyes of a four year old boy, Danny. It’s one of the first books I’ve ever read that deals with domestic violence within a lesbian relationship, a relationship that from the beginning, has a power struggle. 

Rogers is clearly inspired by Room, and the child point of view to describe a traumatic event. Personally I’m not a fan of this, because I get incredibly annoyed by child protagonists, but I can understand why other readers may like this. 

I wish there had been more backstory on Meemaw, or Natalie to give her true name. There is Spanish heritage, a mother who committed suicide, a father who is living in squalor. She’s also clearly had a straight relationship in the past, which is how Danny was born. Of course, it’s hard to write a backstory when the pov is so limited, but I feel like I missed out on crucial character development. 

Overall, Tale of a Tooth is an interesting view into domestic violence in lesbian relationships and the British welfare system. It’s heart breaking in places, and amusing in others, and I’m grateful for Netgalley giving me the chance to read it.
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Tale of a Tooth is a story about domestic violence and money struggles told from the point of view of a four-year-old with a love of dinosaurs. Danny lives with his mother Natalie in a Sussex town, and when they are threatened with a benefits sanction, Natalie doesn't know what to do. A Job Centre employee, Karen, offers to help them out. Natalie and Karen start a relationship, but Karen's anger and guilt trips are only the start of her destructive impact upon the family.

This is a novel about very important topics and it has a gripping narrative, particularly evoking the difficulty and often hopelessness of Natalie's situation. Rogers uses Danny, an unusual four-year-old who really only knows his mum and the lady who works in the library, and his perspective to show how Karen cycles between anger and apology in her abuse, with Danny doesn't trust Karen and is frightened by her forcefulness from the start. The narrative voice is very distinctive, even more so than other books told from the point of view of young children, and it can be quite difficult to get into, but it is also integral to how the story is told.

The creation of a distinct four-year-old's voice is something that might put readers off: personally, I found it difficult to get past at first, despite having read other books with similar uses of children's perspective. However, Tale of a Tooth has a powerful story and touches upon a lot of important issues, particularly the intersection between money problems and domestic abuse in relation to vulnerable people.
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