Friends, I don’t even know where to start with this one. When I originally saw the cover and read the synopsis for Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder, I was so excited. It sounded so fucked up and weird I just had to have it! Well, it took me over a week to get through, and that’s even with skimming the last 20 or so pages.
Nightbitch follows an unnamed stay-at-home-mom as she descends into madness—she believes she’s turning into a dog🐕
She used to work as an artist, had her dream job, visited friends and had high-brow, intellectual conversations. She’s well educated and felt like she used to have meaning in her life, until she had her son. Now, she stays home while her husband travels every week for work, and her life has become boring, repetitive, and mundane. That is, until she finds clumps of hair growing in strange spots on her body, and her teeth become sharper.
I really appreciated the themes explored in this book: motherhood, parenting, gender stereotypes, and the societal pressure to always do whatever is “right” or “expected” even if you know it’s not what you truly want to be doing with your life. The pressure women face to have kids, raise them, work, cook, clean, etc etc etc is astronomical and so incredibly bothersome, and in Nightbitch the mother just wants a break, goddammit! Even though I’m not a mother, I felt for her so much when all she wanted to do was lock herself in a room away from everyone and everything and take a nap.
Overall though, I found this book to be repetitive, anticlimactic, and a little meh, but maybe that’s part of the point? I’m still thinking about it and reflecting on the story overall.