By Ainslie Hogarth
There are many stories about how difficult mother-in-laws can be. However, Ainslie Hogarth’s Motherthing dives a bit deeper by weaving together horror and slight humor to make even the dead seem to be alive, hauntingly or otherwise.
In Motherthing, Abby’s mother-in-law Laura takes her own life. Laura does this in the home that she shared with her son Ralph, and Abby. Abby tries to literally and figuratively clean up the mess that Laura has left behind. Ralph’s grief is slowly killing him and Abby desperately tries to save the only family she has while hoping to add to it.
Coming from a rough childhood, Abby deals with the toxicity of mothers while assigning the people in her life that role including Mrs. Bondy, the woman that she loves to help at the care home that she works at. Unfortunately, Mrs. Bondy’s daughter wants to take her out of the home. Abby is devastated because the haunting of Laura is already a threat to her losing Ralph. She does whatever it takes to keep Ralph and Mrs. Bondy with her. In this book, it shows how grief and generational trauma can be horrifying and the unusual ways people try to escape (or succumb to) the same fate of the ones before them.
Review by DeKeshia Horne