Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: Bad Mommy - Tarryn Fisher

Bad Mommy
by Tarryn Fisher
Published: December 24, 2016

When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it's not because she likes the neighborhood, or even because she likes the house. It's because everything she desires is next door: The husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else.

4 Stars

Bad Mommy is the kind of book you have to think on or in my case, read twice and discuss with everyone I know. It's a book that can't be taken at face value, because each reader will interpret the characters and the scenarios so differently. It's creepy, it's thought provoking, and in many cases it hits close to home. Fig, Darius, and Jolene are fascinating characters, each has psychological issues, though some are far more terrifying than others. Separated into three parts, readers follow the same story line from the very different perspectives of the three main characters. The result is a terrifying, psychological thriller-esque style novel that leaves you questioning everything.

“There were three things that drew women into a hungry-eyed cluster: liquor, men, and gossip. Gossip was the strongest draw, but put all three together and you had a sort of desperate, heated frenzy on your hands.”

I liked Fig...which is probably absolutely insane to admit, but I LOVE reading from a well-written, unreliable narrator. I knew, within about 10% of the book, that Fig was going to be the kind of character you couldn't trust, but I never expected just how much was fabricated. She's absolutely the most psychopathic character I have ever read from the perspective of, but yes, I liked her. I liked her "figging out," as we PLNs have taken to saying. The things she did, every girl at some point has thought of a few of them, but she followed through on every crazy, creepy, sneaky little thing. She is the stalker you joke about, but never expect to truly have. I was drawn to the crazy, to her holding Jolene on a pedestal to the point of insanity. Darius and Jolene, however, effed me up. There's no better way to put that. I never expected their perspectives and what they revealed, never. Tarryn shows that the one sided perspective of Fig hides so much that we hadn't seen, from her own life, to those that she coveted in Darius and Jolene. I quickly began to question the view I had relied on from Fig, about her friendships, about those she interacted with, about her life in general. The questions piled up, as did the distrust in every single character and in every moment.

"People didn’t want to hear the truth. They had their ideas and any deviation made them uncomfortable."

The book, from beginning to end, was uncomfortable to read. It's something I've come to expect and like about Tarryn Fisher, but Bad Mommy feels almost too real. The questions, all that is left unanswered, made me start to think that the story was more than just based on a few real life situations. I felt trapped, suffocated, and completely confused by the characters, by their actions, and by the final ending. Left with an ending that is absolutely open to interpretation, this book weighed on me for days, it actually has continued to eat at me over a week later, but that doesn't mean it wasn't good. Tarryn Fisher's incredible prose kept me turning the pages, the intrigue enchanted me and kept me reading the craziness, it's the kind of book that you just have to know the ending to.

"I was selfish that way, wanting people to bend and give me the love I needed, not necessarily the love they knew how to give."

Bad Mommy is Tarryn Fisher literature at its finest and longtime fans of TF will not be disappointed. Like her other novels, this book doesn't fit into one genre, it doesn't follow any similar story line to her previous novels, though it does have the Easter eggs fans have grown to love. It will leave all readers guessing and you will fall to one side or the other, you will love it or hate it, but the general consensus is that you will not be able to put it down. You will question your own life, you might have to "Fig out" a bit about Tarryn's personal life, but mostly you will be left questioning the reality of the three characters and the messed up time that they shared together.


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