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average rating is 5 out of 5
average rating is 3 out of 5
Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest
Very good, thoroughly enjoyed,
Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects
STAR RATINGS GUIDE
This is a literary art installation. Think Damien Hirst meets American Beauty.
💛 The brilliance of this is in its uniqueness. And that it has in spades, maybe shovels. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I love this for its weirdness and for being thought provoking. The length of this review says it all really. This made me think. I saw it as The Mother finding liberation in embracing her real self. I enjoyed that aspect of the book. As someone who also struggled with early motherhood, I liked the idea of letting go and discarding the boundaries of normalcy. Just not to this extreme.
💚 I am not nightbitch. I am house cat. Hear me sleep. I could not relate to nightbitch. This should have been fine. I don’t have to relate to a character to enjoy a book. But I also felt judged - and at one point literally torn apart - by her. There’s an adversarial slant to the book whereby if you do not wholeheartedly approve of what she does then you are a closed-minded Jennifer (the Karen of this world).
❤️️ I wasn’t convinced by the author’s characterisation of people’s behaviour. It was extreme in some ways and not enough in others. Part of this is due to the unreliability of the narrator (there’s a lot of: is this the real life, is this just fantasy?). But it does detract from any point the author is trying to make. Again, this is not a devastating criticism. The same odd view of humanity was adopted in American Beauty and, more recently in the TV series, Physical. But the extreme of The Mother should have been more keenly contrasted by those around her to give the story its grounding. If you’re going to feature excreting in gardens and decapitation as frequently as this did, Im’ma need some mundane stuff to remind me what planet I’m on.
💜 Did not like the animal cruelty even though I accept it as part of what this is. I did not like the fetishisation of motherhood as part of the message and I’m not even sure I understood how she felt about it. The idea of children and birth as, on the one hand something miraculous and on the other giving the fetus such agency of ripping the mother apart doesn’t ring true. It’s science. It’s biology. Like animals hunting other animals. But there again I am house cat. Not wild. Not feral. Just mildly disgruntled and hard to please.
PS. I can't help but wonder if The Mother was suffering from an iron deficiency?...
SQUAWKING THE TALK
🎧 The casting of Cassandra Campbell was exactly right. Anyone who has listened to The Help, Everything I Never Told You, The Heart Goes Last or any of the other books read by this prolific narrator will recognise her dreamy, ethereal purr.
🎧 The production is pure and simple, which was a great choice for something as outlandish as this. Campbell keeps a very level tone throughout, creating a brilliant contrast of nonchalance and matter-of-factness in the face of extraordinary events.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: SIMILAR AUDIOBOOKS
No spoilers for this one. Maybe next time!
Click For Spoilers
At home full-time with her two-year-old son while his father travels for work, a woman finds herself struggling with solitude, monotony and exhaustion. If she has to manage one more bedtime alone, she fears she will lose her mind. So far, so familiar, you might say? But one night, a strange metamorphosis occurs....
Written as a howl against biology, history and the patriarchy, Nightbitch uproariously explores how traditional structures of power and gender continue to shape our experiences of mothering. Outrageously enjoyable, deeply clever and joyfully subversive, it is a book about finding the freedom to love and live as we want and need, whatever form this takes.
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