Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mums on Strike by Laura Kemp

5 Star

It was just a squashed grape on the kitchen floor. Hardly a reason to get upset, right?   But six years of motherhood has left Lisa Stratton feeling like a skivvy.

Every morning before she's opened her eyes, she starts her mental inventory of jobs to do. And just like yesterday, the day before and every day since she became a mum, she's woken up knackered.

So when her husband deliberately steps over the grape because it's 'her responsibility' to run the house, it tips her over the edge. He wasn't always like this - they used to share everything. 

Then the kids came along and he saw it as an excuse to sit back. But this time things are going to change. Lisa has made a decision. She's going on strike.

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Kathryn - 5 Star

I loved Mums on Strike. I actually asked for this one from the author and was thrilled to get a copy and then had to wait to read it because of others on my to-read list. When I finally was able to pick it up I whipped through it in a couple of evenings.

This book will make every mother who feels the load of family, work, life to be falling almost entirely on their shoulders, feel validated.  I also know a few dads who feel this way on occasion so perhaps it’s not just for the mums out there either!  Kemp must have come at this from experience because the details of the minutea were perfect and made me laugh out loud.  The squashed grape on the floor was the epitome of the whole problem and she picked at it and made a point of it perfectly.  

As much as I loved Lisa I actually loved her husband just as much.  I wanted to smack him over the head and I wanted to hug him all at the same time which defines my own marriage to a T.  When you decide to start a family, and are lucky enough to have children, the actual running of such an entity creeps up on you until you realise you’re actually organising not only yourself, your kids and your house but sometimes your husband as well. I always struggle with the job of being the stay at home parent in terms of how much around this place is supposed to be my job.  If I’m supposed to be raising the children to be happy and productive members of society then how do I end up being the only one cleaning anything and getting grumpier and grumpier as each task mounts up?  This cannot possibly be the recipe to creating happy offspring and spouses.

This is a touchy subject in many homes I would imagine but well put on the table in this novel with humour, emotion and reality. All of Kemp’s supporting roles were warm, clearly defined and had purpose. She didn’t leave anything hanging or stick people in for no reason. She ensured that all the people in Lisa’s life were interesting and the plot moved swiftly and didn’t even have any lagging bits! Mums on Strike is an excellent read and I’ll be seeking out other Laura Kemp novels immediately.

Thank you to Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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