Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda | Book Review

But what is she eating?!

Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda

Released March 2022

Source: Borrowed from Library

Goodreads  | Amazon

A young, mixed-race vampire must find a way to balance her deep-seated desire to live amongst humans with her incessant hunger in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.

Lydia is hungry. She's always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside - the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can't eat any of these things. Her body doesn't work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs' blood in London--where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time - is much more difficult than she'd anticipated.

Then there are the humans--the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can't bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for--perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality--but, she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry--always hungry.

As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that she must reconcile the conflicts within her--between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.

My 2 Cents for Free!

Lydia has followed her suffocating mother’s rules her entire life and now that her mom is ailing and out of the picture, she must make a new life for herself. But it’s not going to be as easy as she anticipated.

Lydia is an artist and also a vampire. Her mother would only allow her to feed her hunger with pig blood because she said they were dirty animals and that was all they deserved. Lydia obviously has issues from this difficult upbringing and the story explores how she creates a new life for herself while getting increasingly hungrier when the pig blood supply is abruptly shut down. 😳

She’s making friends with artists and finding her way but the endless hunger and her obsession with tasting human food that makes her deathly ill makes life difficult. The tasty humans who surround her are also looking better and better!

Woman, Eating is a story that feels timeless and yet also modern. It's about loneliness, coming to terms with ingrained self-loathing, art and hunger, and terrible mothers. It’s a very humorless, melancholic, and introspective story that can be a bit slow at times but it’s worth a read if you’re looking for a unique story about vampirism and all the other things I mentioned.



  1. That is a unique take on a vampire story. I like that she has realistic problems too.

  2. I was just thinking this is the kind of vampire book I wouldn't mind reading until you said it was humorless, melancholic and a bit slow. I don't mind quiet, thoughtful novels, but I'm struggling with books that drag...I think it's because I'm running so tired these days. Still, I'll put it on my list.

    1. It is definitely all of those things. Maybe save it for a particular mood.


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