Book Title – My Evil Mother
Author – Margaret Atwood
Rating – 4.5
What do you do when you read an interesting review of a short read, find the author of the creation is Margaret Atwood, and discover it is free on your Kindle? I downloaded it immediately, gave myself an hour break, and read the book at a go.
My Evil Mother, is merely a 32-page short story, about a mother-daughter relationship. Well first of all let me accept I have a thing about books and movies that explore complex mother-daughter relationships. Add to it a story of a witch(or not), the result is delectable.
Set in 1950, this story is about a single mother and her teenage daughter. A post-war period when being a single mother was more of a taboo. To add to the oddness the teen is led to believe that her otherwise prim and proper mother is a witch. Well not those doing harm, but powerful to hurt someone if required. Then life happens, the young daughter grows up and worldly truth dawns upon her. As she understands her outlandish mother more, their relationship becomes stronger. Told in a humorous way the book is a testament to the length a mother goes, and the measures she takes, which can be as quirky as possible, to keep their child safe.
Despite its small size, the book packs a punch with its great character curve, thoughtful narration, and beautiful story. The wonderful anecdotes with typical Atwood wit will keep you glued and might leave you with a chuckle here and there. The book may not be Atwood’s best but overall a satisfying, quick read.
Some of my favorite quotes would be,
“When I was four or five, my mother told me she’d changed him into the garden gnome that sat beside our front steps; he was happier that way, she said. As a garden gnome he didn’t need to do anything, such as mow the lawn—he was bad at it anyway—or make any decisions, a thing he hated. He could just enjoy the weather.”
“Don’t make me point!” She lifted one hand out of the bowl: it was covered with niblets of raw flesh, and pink with blood
I felt a chill. I certainly didn’t want any pointing going on; pointing was how you directed a spell.”
“It’s hard living with someone who’s always right. Even when it turned out that she was. It can be . . . alarming.” “I know,” I said. I felt a wave of sympathy for him; “alarming” was mild.”
You can get the book on Amazon
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