"I can make you a part of something great and beautiful and still portray you as the ugly thing you are." - Tarryn Fisher, Bad Mommy
I don't even know where to begin with this review. There was so much build up and hype for Bad Mommy and Tarryn definitely did not disappoint her flock.
Bad Mommy isn't like any other book I've read. It is dark and twisted, but so intriguing. This is one of those books that I could not put down. I was fascinated by Fig and the way her mind worked. I felt like I could never get a clear, accurate understanding of who Jolene really was. And Darius- he felt like a wolf in sheep's clothing from the very beginning to me!
*****As per usual, my review may have some spoilers in it. Read at your own risk!!!******
Let's talk about Fig for a bit, shall we? I think the below quote is the best way to actually describe her-
"You could search for years and you still won't be able to know who that woman is, because she doesn't know herself."- TF
I think this is right on with Fig. I feel bad for her. She's "batshit crazy" I completely agree, but I don't know that she really knows any better. She seems to be a deeply broken woman who is a master manipulator and desperately wants love. I feel like that could be so any of us, especially if you take out the creeper/stalker part. She's a woman desperately trying to find who she is, but is so easily swayed by the beauty of others. She really has the old fable of 'the grass is greener on the other side' going on. Fig's character just...hurt my heart.
One other thing I didn't understand about Fig was George. At the beginning of the story, it seemed like Fig and George had separated a long time ago. However, when we later heard from a different POV, George had been present the whole time but was apparently completely invisible to Fig anymore. She was fixated on the life she wanted to have: She wanted to be Bad Mommy. She wanted Jolene's daughter. She wanted Jolene's husband. She wanted/she became Jolene.
I loved and I hated Jolene. She seemed to be the type of woman and mom that most women want to be like. I did feel like she was intentionally naive for a good portion of the book: not wanting to see any problems in her marriage or in her friendship with Fig, but I think that what's I loved her more than I hated her. She tried to see the good in people. She tried to rescue, even to her own detriment. Look at the end of the book, for goodness sake! If anyone had a clear reason to freak out, she did!!
"Jolene didn't make friends as much as she took friends. They arrived; she opened her arms and smiled. She was like the happy drunk you met in a club. Senseless, full of love and goodwill." -TF
"Everything with her boiled down to actions and consequences. She saw people as broken derailed trains, full of compartments and mostly out of steam. I didn't know she she decided to become everyone's conductor, but that's what she does- she gets the trains moving again. I respected her for it, but this time, with this particular person, I felt the need to warn her." -TF
I don't want to spend much time discussing Darius because he was a butthead. Jolene and even Fig deserved more than he would've been able to offer. If you want my vote, Darius is the true psychopath in this story. Though, Fig doesn't fall far from the crazy train either.
Anyway, I know I didn't discuss too much about the storyline of the book. I don't usually in my reviews. What matters most to me, what makes the most successful book for me, is when I feel connected to the characters. In this book, just as in all of Tarryn Fisher's other books, I feel a part of their world. I feel like I am in their herd. I even feel a little Fig-ish ;) I love it, though. Bad Mommy isn't for everyone. If you want a light-hearted, easy, fun happily ever after type of book, you may want to put this one on hold for later. But, do come back to it later. It's twisted, it's fairly dark, overwhelming and confusing, but so incredibly well written and worth every minute of the time spent reading! <3