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3.5 

Nightbitch

By Rachel Yoder
Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING AMY ADAMS In this blazingly smart and voracious debut novel, an artist turned stay-at-home mom becomes convinced she's turning into a dog. • "A must-read for anyone who can’t get enough of the ever-blurring line between the psychological and supernatural that Yellowjackets exemplifies." —Vulture

One day, the mother was a mother, but then one night, she was quite suddenly something else...

An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience does not match her imagination. Two years later, she steps into the bathroom for a break from her toddler's demands, only to discover a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck. In the mirror, her canines suddenly look sharper than she remembers. Her husband, who travels for work five days a week, casually dismisses her fears from faraway hotel rooms.

As the mother's symptoms intensify, and her temptation to give in to her new dog impulses peak, she struggles to keep her alter-canine-identity secret. Seeking a cure at the library, she discovers the mysterious academic tome which becomes her bible, A Field Guide to Magical Women: A Mythical Ethnography, and meets a group of mommies involved in a multilevel-marketing scheme who may also be more than what they seem.

An outrageously original novel of ideas about art, power, and womanhood wrapped in a satirical fairy tale, Nightbitch will make you want to howl in laughter and recognition. And you should. You should howl as much as you want.

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1169 Reviews

3.5
Expressionless Face“The first 20% of this book offered some thoughtful meditations on the postpartum loss of identity, the relegated role of "mother," and the loneliness of internalizing troubling thoughts and feelings that accompany the death of one's known self with gender roles and social norms preventing authentic discourse. So 1.5 stars for that and a great title. The rest of this book was an absolute slough that I hate read to completion. The whole metaphor was painstakingly obvious, but Yoder decided to explain every detail to you in the last chapter which begs the question - does she doubt her prose or her readers more? A lot of people didn't enjoy the violence in this book, but those depictions did not inform my rating; what bothered me is that they were used as the only points of escalation and action the text offered. It would be 50 pages of banal navel-gazing by an unlikable character and then a weird/violent scene that only served as a weak device to make the reader think "woah, isn't she WhAcKy?! What WILL she do next!" Just a total miss for me. Petty gripe: the "mommy" word count in this book must be 17,483, and if I never have to see the word again, it will be too soon.”
Multi-layered charactersRealistic settingDarkAnimal abuseMisogynyUnengaging characters
Surprised Face with Open Mouth
Easy to readDarkAnimal abuse
Anxious Face with sweat
Descriptive writingMagical settingDarkThought-provokingAnimal abuse

About Rachel Yoder

RACHEL YODER is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. She holds M.F.A's from the University of Arizona (fiction) and the University of Iowa (nonfiction), where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her stories and essays have been published in literary journals such as The Kenyon Review and The Missouri Review, as well as national outlets such as The New York Times, The Sun, and Lit Hub. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and son.

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