This book is certainly not for the faint of heart. I was gripping my Kindle in a death grip for the duration of this twisted, disturbing read. I read this book in a very short amount of time. I was completely consumed with the story, and I was shocked by the events that took place. It is definitely a psychological roller coaster ride that will be difficult to shake.
Emily Vargas could be any woman. She’s an intelligent, educated, professional woman. She writes books and gives speeches on female empowerment, the last thing she ever thought was that she would be drugged and wake up in confinement. How did this happen? Could she have prevented it? Why her? These were all of the thoughts swirling around in her mind when she woke up in an unfamiliar room. I could feel her fear, her desperation, and her survival instincts kick in.
When she sees her captor for the first time, she is frightened, and is trying to gauge his behavior. What does he want with her? Will he hurt her? Will he rape her? Or worse yet, will he kill her? She is confused by his behavior. From his appearance, he looks like a normal, attractive man, definitely not the description of the monster who would commit such an act, but he refuses to speak to her. The only thing that he tries to do at first is feed her chicken noodle soup. He is using a normal, comforting food that is used to make people feel better as a way to condition her.
Being a social person who craves stimulation and interaction, Emily is finding the lack of communication extremely difficult. She is trying to keep herself from slowly slipping away. When her captor attempts to touch her, she finds herself leaning in towards it, needing it, craving any human interaction that he is willing to spare. Their physical interactions become extremely sexual in nature, but he refrains from physically harming her in any non-consensual way.
As the days turn into weeks and months, Emily finds herself needing her captor much more than she needs her freedom. She is not naïve to the notion of Stockholm syndrome, in fact, she realizes that she is succumbing to his methods of controlling her, but the longer she is with him the more she realizes that she wants to relinquish her control.
There is no denying that Comfort Food is a twisted, mind-bending book. While it pushes the boundaries of what a reader feels may feel comfortable with, it is extremely well written, fast paced and will make you give that normal, unassuming, handsome stranger a second look.