Review: Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

Take a pinch of horror, add a dash of magical realism, some dark humour and a lonely, dissatisfied mother and you get Nightbitch, an original and entertaining story of a woman whose life is transforming in the most unexpected of ways.

The unnamed woman at the centre of the story is an artist turned stay-at-home mum of a two year old. Her husband can be away a week at a time and the loneliness she is experiencing, along with the erasure of her identity both as an artist and as an academic, is stifling. Then she makes a startling discovery. She is turning into a dog.

Of course, no one believes her.

She doesn't believe it either. 

At first.

Then, when the evidence becomes overwhelming, she embraces the role and becomes Nightbitch, part women, part wolf, unafraid and ready to unleash herself on the world ...

In many ways, this was a clever look at the inner lives of smart women who find themselves unappreciated and relegated to the sidelines in their roles as wives and mothers. Parts of the story ring very true--for example, Nightbitch's discovery that if she needed her husband to help around the home, all she needed to do was ask. (He'll do it, cheerfully, but he never would have volunteered.) The humour is very dark, there's a lot of gore and the ending is a truly terrifying spectacle. I enjoyed this one for its originality and cleverness. Perfect for fans of Margaret Atwood and Mona Awad.



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