ContemporaryNightbitch by Rachel Yoder

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

NIGHTBITCH

It’s 12:28 am. I picked up this book a few hours ago and I haven’t physically put it down from cover to cover. I can feel my brain whirring as I pick apart the 238 pages that have left an indelible mark. Are books not magnificent?

The plot is one I can confidently be sure you will not have encountered elsewhere. A nameless mother descends into a spiral of self loathing, exhaustion, despair and frustration and begins to believe she is turning into .. a dog. No really. And yet this is a title gaining thousands of reviews, now out in paperback it is still being talked about.

I have to tell you that by page 20 I had messaged three friends emphatically insisting they buy it. Yes it’s WEIRD, almost kafkaesque but there is so so much here on feminism, the invisible work of women, the devaluing of the immense work of being a mother, the intense pressure to have it all, the disparity in finances and expectation within many relationships, I could go on but you get the gist. And this is all done in the most sardonic, wry prose which made me bark ( forgive me) with laughter.

On a deeper level, I truly believe that one could almost say the entire dog element is an allegory for post natal depression and psychosis. Any parent will recognise the never ending, at times torturous, monotony of raising a young child. When you are so severely sleep deprived, when your delightful offspring screams for an hour for something they then don’t want after you acquiesce, surely we have all had those moments of disassociation? 

@raijoy takes this to an extreme place, we watch the metamorphosis from woman into an actual feral, violent beast. She explores the impossibility of pregnancy, the importance of identity and expression, whilst providing comedic satire and social commentary.

This was a wild ride that had me loudly exclaiming EXACTLY when discussing “working mums” and misogyny and if you can handle the weirdness you may just love it too. Will I ever look at a dog the same way again? ~ C

Ad:PR thank you so much @vintagebooks for sending this over

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Comment

  • Jo w

    I bought this on your recommendation … god it’s weird, but I love it. I can still remember the days of having very young children.. and this resonates .. but I really think – as a mother to an 18 year old daughter – could open up a whole new canine world !?

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