The Wolf’s Mother Speaks – Ben Dolnick


Joyce had that nuclear family thing down – doting husband, loving child, house in the suburbs – so how did she end up alone, in a crappy apartment with only a cat for company?

Glad you asked. Take a seat. It’s going to be a lonnnng one.

That’s right. Joyce is finally telling her life story to her (somewhat) unwilling neighbor. (He made the mistake of telling her that he’s a writer…and well…once Joyce gets an idea, nothing (hell or high water) will stop her).

Anyway, it all goes back to Michael, her son.

He was a quiet kid. He was always thinking. Not a big hugger, didn’t have many interests.

And when he became a teenager, all he wanted to do was hole up in his room with a computer. At first Joyce thought, hey. He’s a bit of a loner but that’s okay.

But when he got to college…that’s when things took a turn for the worse.

Michael just…stopped.

He stopped showing up at his job, he stopped paying rent to his apartment and (and this is the big one) he stopped returning Joyce’s phone calls.

Joyce has no choice but to believe the absolute worse. So, she drives upstate – fully expecting to find him dead in a ditch.

But what she finds? It was far worse.


Oh. My. God. This book was a roller coaster – but in the best way possible.

It took me a little bit to get into the story but once I got through the first bits, I was absolutely hooked.

Joyce’s character was phenomenal. The author really nailed that overbearing, worry-obsessed but with a heavy dose of tough-love mom – the kind that loves you to death but visits more than a hour brings about a headache. Her take on life was completely on point. And I loved her.

Uncovering Michael’s story, watching Joyce’s reaction to it and all the hijinks that happen – it was riveting. It was hilarious. It was absolutely fabulous slab of dark humor pie.

And combine that all with the true horror of that ending? Perfection.

I truly wish this book was longer – cause there was so much left to be explored. So many nooks and crannies that could’ve been uncovered. And yet, I’m also really happy to be left wondering. Go figure.

A huge thank you to Netgalley Audio, Ben Dolnick and Recorded Books for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s