Nightbitch, by Rachel Yoder
Nightbitch has also been optioned for a film, set to star THE Amy Adams! Boom!
I'm going to try to write this review of Nightbitch, by Rachel Yoder, in a way that doesn't spoil too much for everyone, but this book taught me that I can do whatever the fuck I want because I am a powerful she-beast, so if I ruin it for you, too bad and you're welcome. When I started Nightbitch, I had to take a lot of breaks. The dangerous meat of it doesn't come until much later, but the early parts, apologetically complaining about the monotony of mothering a toddler through sleeplessness had me sweating and raging. Like, I had to turn it off while driving because I feared that I would drive my family off an overpass not NOT on purpose.
That shit was hard. Horrible. Horribly hard, and Ms. Yoder does such a precise job of recollecting the sensation of shame over finding that hard shit hard. Good mothers are grateful and don't complain, etc, etc. RAGGGGEEEEEEEE.
The woman, referred to only as "Mother," and then later "Nightbitch," recently quit her job at an art gallery because her husband travels five out of seven days a week for his job and they now have a toddler. Daycare is expensive and feels impersonal. She repeats, like a mantra, that it was the right decision, that she's lucky, that she's a lucky woman who got to make the right decision for her family.
Mother's personal life is hard and miserable, though, because spending all day every day with a baby is like that. Her husband doesn't help with "night-nights," the 2-3 hour bedtime ritual that has come to define the mother's life, even those few days when he is home. Gradually, Mother begins to get angry, then furious, then mean, and hairy, and her canines seem pointier than they used to be- she evolves into Nightbitch...and her evolution is shocking.
I'm glad I persisted past the original uncomfortably accurate memories of infancy/toddlerhood (and I'm really fucking glad for my IUD now) because the book then gets SUPER weird and fabulous. There are times I laughed out loud, times I howled, and I left the whole thing feeling powerful and feminine and like a goddamned warrior wolf woman.
Highly recommend. Eleven out of four stars.
*Trigger warning for animal violence