It’s the 1950s, a single mother who loves wearing short-waist dresses, is always warning her teenage daughter against stuff. The teen is convinced her mother is a witch, the real deal, who can turn people into animals and cast spells. At the heart of it, ‘My Evil Mother’ by Margaret Atwood is a short little story that celebrates motherhood and the ingenious ways in which they protect their children.

“You’re so evil” says the opening sentence. What follows is detailed description by the narrator on how her mother was either off the rails or really just a witch. Atwood’s charming language, combined with her fluid story-telling skills, will make you finish reading the story even before you realize it. The short captures the conservative attitudes prevalent at the time against single-mothers raising kids on their own.

Atwood cleverly combines elements of fantasy, comedy against the domestic setting of a woman running her household without the need of a man. Towards the second-half of the story, a sort of sad realistic tone seeps into the story, but the melancholy is quickly dispelled by an humorous ending. “Oh that was cute!” was my only thought when I finished the tale.

It’s a 3/5 from me.

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Episode 74 – 10 Book Reviews Under 10 Minutes #13thEdition