On the Savage Side by Tiffany McDaniel
Published by: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers
Would recommend without being asked
Would recommend if asked
Would never recommend
I was young and stupid. I believed we could be strong enough to beat it together. That it wouldn’t hold me the way it held the other women in my family. I thought it’d be different for me. That I could make one wrong decision and be okay the next day. But I didn’t prepare myself for the feeling. The overwhelming sense of peace, the warm wash of euphoria that took every single drop of my pain away. I never knew such a feeling could exist. It spoke to me. Told me it would protect me, keep me safe, and close the doors on the things that had once hurt me. Sweet lies that glistened, and I believed them.
On the Savage Side
Chapter 18, Page 193
In a Nutshell
On the Savage Side tells the story of twin sisters Arcade and Daffodil. With an unbreakable bond, they try to escape the generational ghosts that haunt their family. Left to fend for themselves, they cling to each other and create a make-believe world empowered by their grandmother’s stories.
Years later, as the sisters wrestle with a life filled with addiction and prostitution, a local woman is found dead in the river. Soon more bodies are discovered and as the killer circles closer, Arc’s promise to keep herself and sister safe becomes harder to keep.
Book Club Notes
On the Savage Side by Tiffany McDaniel is a devastating novel that tackles family bonds, the dichotomy of light and dark, and the destruction addiction causes.
Written brilliantly with a poetic prose, it is real and raw and the contents will break your heart. You can’t help but root for Arc and Daffy and want to jump into the book to save them. The ending which is surprising, sad and brilliant is what puts this book in a best books list.
It was inspired by the case of the Chillicothe six. Between May 2014 and May 2015 six women went missing in Chillicothe, Ohio. Four of them were later found dead, and two are still missing. Many of the women knew each other, and all struggled with addiction.
In an article I read, Tiffany McDaniel says that although the characters are all fictional, the victims were never far from her mind. She wanted to emphasize who the women might have been and that their lifestyle choices did not make them active participants in their deaths.
You enjoy books inspired by true stories and you can handle heartbreaking and devastatingly sad reads.
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Feige is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to code things, design things, and all things beauty.