ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Margaret Atwood is a Canadian novelist, poet, and literary critic. She was born in 1939 in Ottawa.
Atwood is a prolific writer and poet. She has published numerous novels, short stories, essays, children’s books, and graphic novels. Her preferred genres include dystopian fantasy, science fiction, feminism, climate fiction, and historical fiction. Her most notable works include The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, and Surfacing.
She is the recipient of several awards and accolades like the Governor General’s Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award.
Atwood is also an environmentalist. She presently lives in Toronto.
SYNOPSIS (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
As the cover suggests, My Evil Mother is a short story.
The narrator is an unnamed woman and the plot centers on her relationship with her mother. She thinks of her mother as evil for she feels her mother practiced witchcraft growing up. Her mother never tries to contradict or set right this impression of her daughter. In fact, she always assures her that she uses her powers for the greater good. They grow apart as the girl grows older. However, over time, she stops believing that her mother was a witch. Later in life, the mother-daughter pair is reunited.
The story ends when the narrator herself has a teenage daughter.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT MY EVIL MOTHER
Despite its brief length, My Evil Mother perfectly encapsulates the lives of its characters. In fact, for such a short book, it is quite incredible that it spans three generations!
Atwood’s craft is at its absolute best in this peach of a book. If there ever was any doubt about her way with words, this story should put them all to rest. My Evil Mother is an intriguing tale with a humorous side. The book also has an element of mystery, which only makes things spicier. It explores the dynamic, complex relationship between mothers and daughters. It is eventually left for the readers to speculate on whether the mother really was a witch or if it was something she came up with to protect her daughter.
The title itself is quite unique. It keeps the readers guessing as to what they can expect from the story.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT MY EVIL MOTHER
Probably the biggest drawback of My Evil Mother is that it ends too soon, leaving the readers wanting for more. The book has its fair share of unanswered questions. And while this device does aid the purpose of storytelling, this conjectural end may not be ideal for such a concise book.
Why would I care about the tittle-tattle of the uninformed? Ignorant gossip.
I felt a chill. I certainly don’t want any pointing going on; pointing was how you directed a spell.
Ameya would recommend My Evil Mother in a heartbeat. The book is a witty read that all mothers and daughters should definitely try.
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