Sunday, November 25, 2012

Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill

3.5 Star

For Lucy Sweeney, motherhood isn't all astanga yoga and Cath Kidston prints. It's been years since the dirty laundry pile was less than a metre high, months since Lucy remembered to have sex with her husband, and a week since she last did the school run wearing pyjamas.

Motherhood, it seems, has more pitfalls than she might have expected. Caught between perfectionist Yummy Mummy No 1 and hypercompetitive Alpha Mum, Lucy is in danger of losing the parenting plot. And worst of all, she's alarmingly distracted by Sexy Domesticated Dad. It's only a matter of time before the dirty laundry quite literally blows up in her face...

Kathryn - 3.5 Star

I had been eying this book for quite some time as it’s one of the earlier novels by the author of What the nanny saw which I read last year and thoroughly enjoyed. I also understood that Neill wrote about the main character Lucy Sweeney as a column in a magazine in the UK and that seemed intriguing and doubled the reason to pick this one up.

I thought that Slummy Mummy was completely hilarious and yet didn’t really relate to Lucy very much myself. I think that the juxtaposition for Lucy is her feeling like she’s lost herself to being a mum.  The frustration of these feelings spills over into her marriage in the form of innocent flirtations with attractive dads at the school gates which in turn makes her feel like a woman again and yet also utterly guilty.

I found Lucy a little self centered but I still liked her and I enjoyed her friends and the other mums and dads involved in her world.  To be truthful though, I was a bit worried for her and felt like she was really close to losing her husband and her family throughout most of the novel.  However, they seemed to have a great understanding and even respect for each other’s limitations. Lucy and Tom both understood each other enough to know that sometimes ones’ eye wanders and although you can think about the grass on the other side-and may even put your toe over there, just a little- it can be just a moment of madness.  I think Neill’s portrayal of Lucy’s frustrations were realistic and probably are relatable to a lot of mothers.

I also have to note that I really liked the way the children were portrayed- they were realistic and addictive- I’ve only found a few authors who can make the children such an engaging part of the novel.

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