April 28, 2022

Book Review


reviewed by Sadie Hartmann “Mother Horror”

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I decided to request Motherthing on NetGalley for two reasons:

1) That cover

2) The synopsis

And then, in a very un-Sadie-like manner, I actually jumped right into it. I never, I mean, never get approved for a NetGalley book and immediately read it. There was just something so utterly magnetic about this book’s potential.

Allow me to set this book up for you with no spoilers and the right expectations.

The narrator, Abigail Lamb “Abby,” is a caregiver at a nursing home. She’s good at her job; loves the elderly patients in her care.

She has also just become a live-in caregiver for her ailing mother-in-law, Laura. Abby and Ralph have just made the recent transition of moving into Ralph’s mother’s home so it’s still a bit fresh and awkward especially because Laura has an unhealthy attachment to her son causing Abby to feel like an outsider.

Tragedy strikes and Abby finds herself fighting for her husband’s mental health; maybe even his life.

I found Ainslie Hogarth’s storytelling voice compatible and comfortable. I slipped into my favorite “reading zone” where I am at peak levels of entertainment-the words on the page translating those visuals into my mind like a little movie.

And the humor! My goodness, this book is hilarious. Plenty of snarky, razor-sharp wit, and a way of using humor to diffuse hurt feelings.

The storyline is a bit of a slow burn enticing readers to invest in Abby and Ralph upfront before circumstances beyond their control peel back to reveal all the ways their marriage is vulnerable; unstable. It’s deeply unsettling. A strong sense of growing tension and impending dread nips at the reader’s heels as the story progresses. Things get bleak! As Ralph begins to descend into a grief-induced depression, things definitely take a dark turn.

Without going too deep into my own, personal experience, I do feel it’s appropriate to say that I felt a kinship with the protagonist. I could relate having gone through similar situations. And given what I already know about the difficulties many women have maintaining healthy boundaries with their mothers or mothers-in-law, I’m sure this book is going to find its audience.

Quirky, unexpected, and charming, Motherthing uses all the right ingredients combined in equal measure to ensure a delicious experience. Highly recommend.


Motherthing is available at:


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