New mother Dani has a lot going on. She's worried that her seemingly healthy husband, Clark, might drop dead, leaving her and her baby, Lotte, destitute. She's worried that she hasn't lived up to her birthright as the daughter of the legendary Garbage King, DJ Silver, whose waste management company employed the town of Metcalf for decades. And she's really worried that, try as she might, she's not a gym-going, manicure-sporting, perfectly coiffed Normal Woman. And then Dani discovers The Temple. Ostensibly a yoga center, The Temple and its guardian, Renata, are committed to helping men reach their full potential. And if doing that sometimes requires sex work, so be it. Finally, Dani has found something she could be good at, even great at, something that could save Lotte from financial ruin if Clark ever dies. Just as she's preparing to embrace this opportunity, though, Renata goes missing. And Dani discovers there might be something else she's good at: detective work.
The building terror in Normal Women is erratically paced and ultimately leads to a flat conclusion ... The otherwise meandering plot focuses into a more precise and searing portrayal of Dani’s descent into this desire, revealing a powerful perspective on the unseen labor of care. Unfortunately, the so-called horror that propels the latter half of the book is no match for those of actual postpartum self-awareness, of the lengths mothers will go to to eke out a sense of identity when theirs has been so swiftly and permanently blown apart.