I Can Be a Better You Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it's not because she likes the neighborhood, or even because she likes the house.
It's because everything she desires is next door: the husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 41 minutes|
|Narrator||Brittany Pressley, Lance Greenfield, Carly Robins|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 29, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #17,353 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#240 in Psychological Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#551 in Psychological Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,583 in Psychological Fiction (Books)
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Top reviews from the United States
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**There are a few spoilers in this review.**
I admit, I couldn't put this book down. I almost always pick up the subtle undercurrents in stories which often give away twisty plot points in books, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out the twist in this story. Bad Mommy was all over the place, which ultimately kept me coming back for more. If I can't figure a book out, it tends to get a 4.5/5 star rating.
What was I missing?
Where was the story going?
Would all of these unanswered questions be revealed in the end?
Unfortunately, I wasn't missing much...except three terribly unreliable narrators, three separate stories which didn't mesh together at all, and a conclusion which left me empty. I was being told a story, instead of feeling as though I was part of it all. The reason I couldn't figure out the twist? There wasn't one. Nothing ever came together and felt cohesive. This was the exact same problem I had with Mud Vein. So much build up...and then a big, disappointing fizzle. It's as if Tarryn Fisher focuses so much on the crazy in her books, she forgets to actually tie up her stories. At least with an ending that's reasonable and satisfying.
I felt cheated. The book started with so much potential...but I was left with: wondering where in the heck George came from; questioning whether or not Darius ever loved Jolene...or if it was all just for her home/money; pondering what happened regarding the lawsuits against Darius; trying to figure out why Fig suddenly stopped caring about Mercy...she was barely mentioned in the final 2/3 of the book; wondering what actually happened in Paris that required Fig wiring the Avery family money, and just trying to figure out Jolene, period.
The truth is, I haven't really loved any of Ms. Fisher's novels, and this is probably the sixth or seventh I've read over the years. They're so popular and universally loved, I keep trying, but unfortunately, I think this is the end of the road.
I listened to one-third of the book on Audible.com while traveling to and from work. The narration, by Brittany Pressley, Lance Greenfield, and Carly Robins is superb. But the story was so interesting I switched to reading it because I became impatient with the speed of the narration. I read faster than the narrators speak. Yes, there is a handy little button in Audible that allows me to speed up the reading but then the sound would have been distorted. In the 1x narration speed, the story is creepy.
Fig is the psychopath. She is married to George and they had tried to have a child. She blamed the miscarriage on George. Not that he had anything to do with the miscarriage physically, it just seemed to Fig that he got over it quickly, didn’t want to talk about it, and did not pay attention to Fig’s feelings. Luckily, Fig had a series of therapists to help her get over the tragedy. Her favorite therapist convinced Fig that her baby was alive but in another body. When Fig found her baby, their two souls would recognize each other and Fig would able to reclaim her baby and be the good mother she knew she could be.
Jolene is the writer. She has a cute child named Mercy Moo. Living with husband Darius, she has a vaguely defined marital relationship that might be considered an open marriage. But Jolene doesn’t consider it that way. She doesn’t stray and doesn’t want to. She doesn’t want Darius to stray either. She only demands one thing, the truth. What she doesn’t want to really know, what she might know but does not admit, won’t hurt her. She has an interesting new neighbor with an odd fixation that Jolene is slow to notice and even slower to admit. The neighbor, Fig has one fixation Jolene does not know about. Fig has identified Mercy as her lost child and soulmate.
Darius is the sociopath. He might be able to diagnose himself as one since he is a counselor/therapist/psychologist; his credential is a bit unclear. Darius has no interest in self-diagnosis and would never believe himself to be a sociopath. He is too busy dealing with his sex addiction. Among other things, he must conceal his activities from his wife. Then he must conceal his sexual activities with his patients from investigations by ethics boards and police. Darius recognizes that Fig is a psychopath and a danger to Jolene. But he is also fascinated by Fig and the possibilities that the manipulation of Fig might bring to the satisfaction of his addiction.
This is the second novel I have read/listened to by Tarryn Fisher. The first one I reviewed, The Opportunist, was underwhelming. I couldn’t believe I finished it. In that review, I mentioned that Fisher might be a “pendulum” writer who produced both really good and much less-than-good novels. This novel was so much the polar opposite that my view is confirmed but now I have to go read more from her to see where other of her novels fit on the scale of from mediocre to great. Bad Mommy is great.
There are a couple of plot holes here and there but the overall quality of story and writing make it easy for the reader mind to gloss over minor imperfections. There is probably language that is offensive to some, especially females. I found this interesting since the author is female. Her female characters (not Darius the sex addict) use the forbidden “c***” word. No, this does not refer to a male appendage. But, there are female artists such as Sally Fields who have a very different take on the use of the word. I digress.
The three main characters of the novel offer the reader many surprises. There are action events, such as who is doing what to whom but the real surprises come with the development or degeneration of the thinking and minds of the Sociopath and the Writer. Those two characters are developed very well. Darius seems sort of stuck as far as character development but, again, the excellence of the story via the other two main characters make this a very enjoyable and even addictive (sorry Darius) reading experience. Once I switched from Audible to Kindle print, I didn’t stop reading until the end. And the end is simply clever. Not cerebral, but clever.
On to read more Tarryn Fisher novels.
I found her intriguing mystfying. As I read on I found the book to be more than a little bizarre. It was like one person had written the first half, and someone else, the second.
This was more than a twist, it was a 180° U-turn. Don't want to reveal too much so I'll avoid specifics. One thing I found odd, was the little girl, Mercy, the premise for the whole story.
After the first chapter or two she virtually vanished from the story, mentioned here and there in passing. Secondly, Fig- the main char was supposedly married and it was assumed they had split up. Then the ex appears out of nowhere many chapters later almost at the end- was.not once mentioned in the body of the story as an active character. Like a walk-in who only served one purpose- played his part and then exited the book.
To me, there's a big problem if characters are presented as main characters and then kind if disappear or reappear at the author's convenience. Another troubling thing was Jolene's character. I loved her character to the point that I couldn't wait to find out who she was at her core.
So the story was moving along nicely and then.............wtf happened??
It wasn't the twist- I love twists in stories. This was beyond a twist, more like a spiral spinning out of control. It was strange, and not in a good way.
Don't know much about this author. She has tremendous potential, very talented. So I don't understand how/why this would happen?! Have never run across this before. So it was interesting on more than one level.
Anyway, the characters were true to life, story started out normally kept you glued, interesting plot, big twist, ending nothing to write home about. Personally, I was disappointed.
Top reviews from other countries
The husband Darius.... was completely not what I was expecting and that’s the beauty of this author. The characters have so many facets you just never know which one will see the light of day.
Then there’s the wife, still not sure which of the three characters was the craziest. I think they all had sociopathic traits with a touch of psycho thrown in. Great story but the ending I was left feeling what the hell was that all about..... so much thought provoking!
Tarryn Fisher writes books that have everything I want from a great read, characters you can't help but love (even if they're the most despicable humans), the story always has you in its grip from the first page till the last, every emotion is felt through the course of the story and I LOVE me a baddie/villain and Tarryn writes the best. Bad Mommy has is all and more.
This is another brilliant book that keeps you hungry for more until the very end. Its written from 3 POV's, Fig, Darius and Jolene, so you get to understand each persons views and reasons behind their behaviour.
Brilliant must read i won't say anymore as i wouldn't want to spoil a single thing.
I really enjoy Tarryn Fishers books, she writes about complex characters and they always take you on a wild journey with twists and turns that are never ending. From what I see, not many of her characters get a HEA and....I like that.