The reader is meant to be shocked. And, fair warning, the author has laid out the book’s subject matter in the opening line: Here there be dragons. If you venture further, you do so at your own risk.
For surely it is risky, taking on such a subject for your first work of fiction: “..something that’s not allowed by law, something that’s frowned upon by the medical profession, by the Church, by society as a whole; it’s a taboo.”
But what this debut novelist does with her story is truly remarkable.
I have a lot more to say about it here.