I read a book: Motherthing, by Ainslie Hogarth

I knew almost immediately that I was going to like this book. I enjoyed it immensely. As usual, I judged this book by the cover before hitting that request button on NetGalley. I mean who wouldn’t be drawn in by that cover? It’s grayscale on Kindle, of course, but the physical cover is boldly colored and resembles a comic book.

Because I hadn’t finished reading this book before the publishing date, I picked up the audiobook during the last Audible sale and read along with it. Top notch performance from narrator Adina Verson.

Content warning: suicide, depression, mental illness. Probably others, but those are the big ones.

I have heard of the dreaded monster-in-law, but having never been married (and not met many past partners’ mothers), I have not had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing one. This book takes that concept and expands it beyond the grave. That said, this is not a horror book as I expected. This is more a psychological horror, the monsters being grief, depression, and trauma. The story follows the lives of Ralph and Abby Lamb, who move in with Ralph’s mother to care for her just before she commits suicide. Naturally Ralph is consumed by grief and falls into a deep depression, all the while insisting that his mother is still alive and in the house. There are some disturbing scenes, plenty of weirdness, and lots of laugh out loud moments. But that may just be my dark sense of humor.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. This was my first Ainslie Hogarth book, but it won’t be my last. I love her writing style. It’s easy to read, flows well, and I love the dialog. The book is full of these little conversations between the main character and her husband and they’re just delightful. Then again, I tend to read more extreme horror and my sense of humor is a little warped, so the idea of a conversation about brown eyes resembling pools of diarrhea seems natural and fun.

Big thanks to Ainslie Hogarth, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can buy Motherthing, by Ainslie Hogarth on Amazon or any major bookseller.