This year, I read a good number of books about motherhood but The Bitch approaches this topic from an interesting angle.
Damaris has not had an easy life. She has witnessed the death of her next door neighbor when she was a child, was abandoned by her mother in order to be raised by her uncle’s family, has a so-so relationship with her husband and now, as an adult, cannot bear a child. In the book she is 40 years old and has given up hope, that is until she comes across a female puppy.
Thinking that she will finally be able to nurture her motherly instincts, Damaris takes care of the puppy to a point where it becomes obsessive.
Like all things, the dog grows up and rebels by running away and returning pregnant. As this is something that has eluded the main protagonist, she starts a war of sorts with the dog, with drastic consequences. Who is the real bitch of the story?
Despite her rash actions, Damaris is quite a complex individual. Her longing to be a mother takes over her mind, and yet when her beloved becomes a mother herself, she feels that there’s some form of dishonesty, Furthermore Damaris feels that she could have prevented the drowning and it hangs with her. Later on in the book, the dog does something which recalls Damaris’ past memories and causes her to commit a regrettable action.
Due to some hints in the plot, I do have to say that there are some passages which may trigger strong emotions in people but do remember that the dog’s symbolism is a deep one. The Bitch is a powerful and compulsively readable tale about longing.
Many thanks to World Editions for providing a copy of The Bitch
For Maltese Readers
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