Book Reviews

Book Review: Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

I’m going to start this thing off with my first 5 star review of 2016, Mud Vein.

A mud vein is the dark strip down the back of a shrimp. You have to take it out for it to be clean. The mud vein is the darkness. I think we all have a small one in us, some are more easily seen. Some wear their mud vein on their face, others try to cover it up with everything they can.

The landscape described in Mud Vein closely mirrors Senna. It is barren, it is solitude and silence, she is trapped in the landscape, but the landscape is her. There is someone trapped there with her. Her savior, Isaac. He is essentially trapped within her and the landscape. She is holding him there and the landscape is holding him there. They have a tie that binds them together. If you are lucky enough to find this person in your life, never let them go, never take them for granted.

“What’s the difference?” I asked him. “Between the love of your life, and your soulmate?”
“One is a choice, and one is not.”

I am going to put a disclaimer on this one. If you are going into this wanting a romance, you will not be happy. This book is hard to categorize. I also want to include the letter Tarryn wrote to readers of Mud Vein.

Letter to the Readers about Mud Vein:

Dear Reader,
I am a writer and words are my weapon. I want to hurt you. I want my words to be salt, and I want to pour them into your open wound. I want my words to be jagged pieces of mirror that you can see yourself reflected in. I am a sadist otherwise known as an artist. My books are a call to women who have been doubled over by heartache, bound by boredom, captives of a past that will not let them go, victors of a past that tried to kill them. I have a disease you see, it’s called human nature, and I am fascinated by it. So, if you choose to read Mud Vein remember that about me. I’m not writing to entertain you, or to make money, or to have my book propped neatly on a shelf in Target. I write to explore the dark corners of myself, and I want you to come with me. I’m a little bit like you. I think you’ll see yourself in the pages of Mud Vein. I haven’t told you very much about it on purpose. I want you to go in blind. I want you to stumble across a thought, a sound, a hurt-which you had thought special to you. And realize I have felt them too, someone you have never met. If you choose to read Mud Vein, please don’t ask yourself what it says, ask yourself what it means. And once you read my black words, on a white page, e-mail me and tell me your interpretation. I can’t wait for your thoughts.

“I am a writer and words are my weapon” – Tarryn Fisher
Truer words have never been spoken. Fisher wrecked my heart with this one. She opened my eyes. I love a book that you can’t get out of your head. It wasn’t the story-line, but the characters I can’t shake. The twist really didn’t surprise me, I pretty much had it figured out but it didn’t matter. I don’t care. It was the experience. It was being in Senna’s head and seeing a part of yourself there. It’s just a piece, but you know it’s there. It’s dark and twisted and mangled. Senna bore that on her body and in her mind. She never let anyone in and she never let anyone out. She is the electrical fence, she is the cabin, the fire, the carousel room, the attic, the snow. She is your depression and anger; she is the crazy you wish you could be when things go wrong. But in all that, she is BRAVE.

Interesting it took this very dark book to break me out of my slump. This is my first 5 star review of this year and I’m about 16 books in. It evoked emotion in me. Emotions that are hard to describe. I felt raw reading this, I felt my face contort reading this, I felt my heart break reading this. Sometimes it’s the pain that wakes us up, sometimes it’s the pain that makes us feel anything and in turn, let’s the happiness in.

I think there is a small mud vein in us all.

“Cause she’s just like the weather, can’t hold her together
Born from dark water, daughter of the rain and snow”
–Florence and the Machine


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