I heard about Bad Mommy through a few other fellow bloggers, and while I hadn’t read anything by Tarryn Fisher, I knew I wanted to read this book. From the cover, the intriguing yet vague synopsis, and all the great praise I have heard about it, I just knew that it would be right up my alley. And for the most part, I was right. When the book went on sale for Kindle, I picked it up in a hurry because I wanted to read it. It was one of those rare times when I wanted to read something so much that I actually dropped the book I was currently reading just to start this one.
Bad Mommy starts off with Fig Coxbury stalking a woman and her daughter, because she believes that the woman has her daughter. Right off the bat, you can tell she is a bit unstable, but wait – things get worse from there.
“I see you getting things you don’t deserve, living it up. It fucking sucks. I feel resentful because I deserve it more than you do. I could be a better you, that’s what it boils down to. I’m every woman; it’s all in me.”
Fig buys a house right next door to “Bad Mommy,” which is what she calls Jolene, the woman she is pretty much stalking. She buys the house, finds a way to befriend Jolene, and starts spending time with both Jolene and Darius, Jolene’s husband. She more or less makes herself a member of the family – coming over all the time, trying to spend as much time with Jolene’s daughter as she can, and eventually she starts trying to win over Darius by sending him dirty pictures and flirting with him all the time.
This goes on, and then we get to the part of the book told from the point of view of Darius. This more or less explains the various problems that he is having with women – he isn’t very faithful to Jolene at all, and instead flirts with women and gives out his number to those he sees at his practice as a psychologist. Eventually, one of the women decides that she wants to file a lawsuit against him because of the way he behaves, and he has to find a way to tell Jolene. Through all of this, he is still flirting with Fig, and Fig is a constant in their home, spending more and more time there.
When we get to the point of view of Jolene, things take a turn – she tries to stop spending time with Fig as she realizes that Fig isn’t good for her, and that she might be a little bit scary at times, with how much time she spends around her and how she has even decorated her house to look like Jolene’s. She discovers something about Darius that throws their life for a loop, and she is forced with some big decisions.
Bad Mommy wasn’t really what I was expecting. I was expecting a thriller, sure, but this was told in a different manner than what I thought it was going to be. When I started reading, I thought I was just going to be reading the story from Fig’s point of view. But then it changes to Darius’s point of view, and finally, the last section is told from the point of view of Jolene. I honestly thought this was a nice touch, but I was kind of hoping for more from Fig’s point of view. She was such an unreliable narrator and that made the book a lot of fun. I didn’t care much for Darius at all, and Jolene was incredibly serious and it added a completely different layer to the story. I think that the author did a great job naming each character’s section of the book: The Psychopath, The Sociopath, and The Writer (Fig, Darius, and Jolene). The chapters were also titled in a way that made reading them pretty exciting.
To be completely honest, while I wished for more narration from Fig, I didn’t like her character at all. I thought she was ridiculously obnoxious, and slightly homophobic, and God, it really pissed me off.
“Nothing was the same as it used to be. Not that I was homophobic or anything, but it was unfair that the gays were being given babies and I was not.”
…Yes, Fig actually referred to them as “the gays.”
“Plus, George was probably right: she had just gotten a pixie cut. If that didn’t scream lesbo then I didn’t know what I did.”
“Then one day he stopped delivering my packages and was replaced by a dikey middle-aged blonde named Fern.”
Okay, to be fair, like I mentioned, I really did like this book. I loved Jolene’s character, and while I didn’t feel like Darius really contributed that much to the story in terms of his point of view, I still enjoyed reading it. I think the author did such a great job when it came down to writing this story, because there was a lot going on and damn, it had to be difficult to wrap this story up in such a fantastic way. I really did love the ending – I wasn’t expecting it at all.
The only reason I’m giving this three stars instead of four or more is probably because of the amount of homophobic comments that were uttered or thought by Fig.
Would I recommend this book? Sure. It was a fast read and I spend most of my day reading it, completely lost in the thrilling and kind of creepy story that Tarryn Fisher wove together. She did a wonderful job, and I will definitely be reading more books by her.