My Book Review of My Evil Mother: A Short Story

My Evil Mother: A Short StoryMy Evil Mother: A Short Story by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A new view of the mother-daughter relationship

As a daughter, mother, and grandmother, I could connect with this story on multiple levels. Having grown in an era similar to the protagonist, the generational gabs and cultures made more sense to me, as well. I felt it gave me more insight into the story.

I watched the mother-daughter relationship between my mom and grandma. I struggled through it with my own mother. I loved it again with my daughters. Now, I see it repeat with my daughters and theirs as well as finally experiencing the grandmother-granddaughter relationship from a converse view. The truth is it’s cyclical, which this story does a wonderful job expressing.

What I liked was the understanding and truth the characters ultimately achieve, even if only in altering their perception instead of answering a question. I thrilled by the witchcraft… the secrets… the uncertainty. Even when you know, do you?

What I didn’t like was how disengaged I felt from the tale. I wasn’t sure if that disconnect was intentional, to mirror so much of the protagonist’s emotions, but it made the story more “telling” for me. I kept waiting to be pulled into the text, but it never happened. I just retained this unfulfilled wish to become part of the book in ways I never did.

This is a quick read. It was good, but definitely more for women, I’d say since it has this mother-daughter theme. I feel it might polarize – you’ll either love its style or wish it had been more of a dark adventure.
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