Book Review: The Woman Who Fed the Dogs by Kristien Hemmerechts

Boekenweek (translated to "book week") is an annual celebration of books and reading recognized specifically in Belgium and...

Boekenweek (translated to "book week") is an annual celebration of books and reading recognized specifically in Belgium and the Netherlands. The event takes place every spring and this year marks the 84th annual Boekenweek celebration. For 2019, the weekly celebration will be recognized during the week of March 23 to 31 in the Netherlands, and April 1 to 7 in Belgium.

In partnership with World Editions, I recently read two translated from Dutch novels - You Have Me to Love and The Woman Who Fed the Dogs.

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A novel based on a true story

TW: Domestic abuse (physical, emotional); violence against children

After reading the synopsis, I had high hopes for The Woman Who Fed the Dogs. But the book truly wasn't what I expected. While the storyline of the novel is pretty solid, the book itself was confusing and messy. It almost read like it stream-of-consciousness, but wasn't written in such way.

The novel itself is based from the perspective of real-life child molester and murderer, Marc Dutroux, who was convicted in Belguim in the late 1980s. Michelle Martin was his wife during the crimes and was also sentenced to prison. She was released in 2012. This story is a fictional novel based from the perspective of Michelle (Odette, in the novel) during the time prior to her release.

I struggled so much trying to get through this book. Even though it's just over 200 pages, it took me almost an entire week to get through it. I wasn't craving to read it throughout the day and open up its pages when I got home each day after work.

"Any murderess worth her salt looks her victim straight in the eye , but I had used a cowardly trick. I didn't contradict her when she called me evil. I nodded, and apologised." -Kristien Hemmerechts, The Woman Who Fed the Dogs

The story was dark and thrilling, which I love. It was mysterious like a Liane Moriarty book - the reader doesn't know the entire story, but you find out more at the ending. But the writing was so confusing. I often had to go back during dialogue to see who said what, because I wasn't totally sure what was happening. Time periods would jump back and forth, so I didn't know when she was referring to.

There was vulgarity throughout the book that seemed odd and unnecessary. I wouldn't consider myself prude or easily offended, but this book made me uncomfortable and I wasn't a fan at all.

Goodreads rating: ★★☆☆☆

*I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

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