Will this short story of a teenage girl in the 1950’s with a Mother that may or may not be a witch deliver the goods or will it fall short and be a let-down?
My Evil Mother : A Short Story
Author : Margaret Atwood
Published : April 1st, 2022 by Amazon Original Stories
32 Pages : Kindle Edition
Short Story / Fiction / Fantasy
I’ve heard the name of Margaret Atwood many times, most commonly of course for her book The Handmaid’s Tale which became a well loved series in the streaming world.
But sadly, I’ve never had a chance to actually read any of her writing. And if this short story is any indication of what the rest of her writing is like, I feel like I’ve really missed out. Something I’ll need to look into fixing soon.
So let’s talk about this short story itself.
It follows a pattern very common for short stories, a pattern that made me fall in love with the short story format. There’s no time wasted on a long set-up, no big character introductions, the story just jumps right in and hits the ground running.
I wasn’t quite sure where it was all heading at first, what starts as 1950’s teen/mother drama quickly turned to something a bit darker with the mother claiming to be an honest to goodness witch, complete with spells and powers.
As the story unfolds the relationship is strained until we find the characters far into the future, the daughter all grown with children of her own, and we are left facing questions of what is real and what is nothing more than fantasy created to try to protect a child.
I really enjoyed how fast paced the story was while also leaving us with a lot to think about in terms of family relationships between our own parents, the hardships faced by broken homes, and even our relationships with our own children if we have them.
For a short story it carried a lot of weight, a heaviness wrapped in a fun and almost whimsical darkness that made the pages fly by.
I don’t normally review short stories individually here on the site unless they are part of a larger collection or anthology I’m reading, however this one popped up as a “gift” from Amazon as a stand-alone book and I thought a short review was fitting for this short story.
If you enjoy Atwood’s writing, you’ll likely enjoy this story. If, like me, you’ve never read any of Atwood’s writing, then check this out. It’s a great blend of family relationships and potentially dark witch-craft that leaves you some subtler things to think about in terms of your own family relationships.
As such My Evil Mother : A Short Story by Margaret Atwood gets 4 out of 5 stars.
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