Normal Women

Normal Women

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WJB Book Club Pick for November 2023

Join us (and the author, Ainslie Hogarth!) Thursday November 30th at Craftheads, 6:00pm

Use code BOOKCLUB for 20% off!

In this darkly comic story about how we value female labour—and don’t—a new mother becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery when her friend, a controversial entrepreneur, goes missing.

When her daughter Lotte was born, Dani had welcomed the chance to be a stay-at-home mother. To be good at something, for once. But now Dani can’t stop thinking about her seemingly healthy husband, Clark, dropping dead. Not because she hates him (not right now, anyway), but because it’s become abundantly clear to Dani that if he dies, she and Lotte will be left destitute. 

     And then Dani discovers The Temple. Ostensibly a yoga centre, The Temple and its guardian, Renata, are committed to helping people reach their full potential. And if that sometimes requires sex work, so be it. Finally, Dani has found something she could be good at, even great at; meaningful work that will protect her and Lotte from poverty, and provide true economic independence from Clark.

     Just as Dani is preparing to embrace this opportunity, Renata disappears. And Dani discovers there might be something else she’s good at: detective work.
“Ainslie Hogarth is the master of first sentences, and the god of surprising verbs.”  
— Claire Oshetsky, author of Chouette
“An exhilarating ride of a novel that deliciously and irreverently skewers the complacent, the entitled and the self-satisfied.”
— Carole Hailey, author of The Silence Project

Praise for Ainslie Hogarth's Motherthing:

A New York Times Notable Book the Year • A Cosmopolitan Best Horror Book of All Time • A New York Times Editors’ Choice
“A quirky, gruesome, utterly original feminist horror experience.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Creepy, hysterical, emotionally complex.”
 —The New York Times, 7 Audiobooks to Listen to Now

"No one crafts horror-comedy quite like Ainslie Hogarth."

Motherthing is an inventive addition to the realm of domestic horror, offering masterful subtlety and a blood-soaked commentary on the maternal impulse. […]Artfully unspooling the protagonist’s deterioration at a nearly imperceptible pace, Hogarth creates a brutal, bloody conclusion that is equal parts surprising and inevitable.”
—Quill & Quire

“[A] gutsy, gory mashup of domestic horror and dark humour.”
—The Guardian

"A masterfully crafted horror novel that’s by turns humorous and deeply unsettling. . . . Abby makes a wonderful narrator; full of wry insights and frothy humor. . . . This dark domestic drama packs a punch.” 
Publishers Weekly, **starred review**

“Hogarth’s way with words enlivens every page of this psycho romp. . . . Her fearlessness and utter lack of inhibition animate the desperate longing and bitter trauma at the heart of this ghost story, administered with a steady drip of comic relief. Profane, insane, hilarious, disgusting—and unexpectedly moving.”
Kirkus Reviews **starred review**