Monday, October 24, 2022

Ainslie Hogarth: Motherthing

Ainslie Hograth shows what happens when a mother in law decides to continue medaling even after death: 

Abby has always been searching for someone to love her ever since she was a child. When her an Ralph fall in love, she is not only happy to have Ralph's love but hopefully the love of his mother, Laura, as well even though Abby knows the history with Ralph. When Laura takes her own life, Abby thinks that her an Ralph can now focus on their own lives, maybe start a family but Laura has other ideas. Laura begins to haunt the house, determined to keep Ralph to herself and plunge him further into depressive state and to haunt Abby so that she destroy every ounce of love she has to give. This forces Abby to come up with a chilling plan to break Laura's hold and save everything she loves.

I like the concept/premise of this book, literally Mother-in-Law from Hell that does not even leave the happy couple alone after her death. She decides to haunt them instead as she wasn’t content to make their life miserable while she was alive she had to do it in her afterlife as well. Now with this premise it could go a few way with it being a horror novel (as it is touted to be) or a dark comedic book but for some reason it never really reaches either of these aspects. 

I didn’t mind how the book was written, I actually liked the scenes that Abby would play out in her head with her conversations with Laura and Cal, as well as the flashbacks we got. What I really had a problem with was the similes and metaphors that Hogarth put throughout the book. I'm talking that sometime there would be 3 on the page, it just felt like Hogarth was almost trying too hard, trying to be too descriptive when she didn't need to be.

Especially at the beginning I felt like this book was a bit tone deaf at times when it came to mental health and mental health issues. Like stating a wife’s duty is to cure their husband of their depression (pg. 48 if you wondering where). Depression is not something that can be vanquished or conquered, it is something that is part of a person for life. I’m just not sure if Hogarth, wrote Abby not being aware of depression, even though her and Ralph have been together for quite awhile, that you would think she would have a better ways or mechanism to help not only herself but Ralph as well or if Hogarth herself did not understand mental health/depression. Granted Abby is also dealing (but not dealing) with her own mental health issues and cannot fault some of the actions she chose to take but I think from the beginning it left a bad taste in my mouth. Also the fact that they agree to move in with Laura in the first place, with her history of manipulation and previously causing Ralph to go into a depressive state baffles me. They both know that it is bad for Ralph, yet do it any ways, why are these people not thinking straight?

I think that the scariest thing within this book is people not seeking help for their mental health issues or sticking to the plans/boundaries that have been working for them. Abby, who has suffered a long time in silence, that it leads to some very irrational actions. I think this will be a book people will either enjoy this book or not, especially if people go in thinking that it is a traditional horror book, which it is not, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been, it a pretty heavy read with an intense focus on mental health/depression that I was not prepared for.


Normally I would put books to read instead of this one, not sure I have anything in the same realm as this book, so I'm going to forgo that aspect of my review this time around.

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