Friday, 3 July 2009

Mother's Day by Kirsty Scott

I’ve just finished reading Mother’s Day by Kirsty Scott. I came to it with scepticism for I am a book snob and derogatory about anything with large, pastel italicised writing on the cover. I only chose it for research – I’m trying to read other “mummy-lit” to learn about the competition for the book I’m planning to write – and had dismissed it as trash before I’d even started.

I was pleasantly surprised. I hate clichés in writing and was expecting many; in mummy-lit we are all neurotic and constantly swigging Chardonnay. I nearly gave up on page 3 when Alison, working mum, starts moaning about being 11 rather than 9 stone. Weight is another obsession of mummy-lit; I’d already discarded one book after the third whine about how terrible it was to be so disgustingly huge at 10 stone 4 – I was ecstatic to get down to 10 stone 4!

However, if you overlook the few clichés, there are some great characters in the book and I became completely absorbed. It was easy to read, a great distraction. I was drawn in, thinking about the book all day – always the greatest compliment to any author. I tried to get into bed early to read. I failed, to get into bed early, so just ended up reading too late into the night to be healthy when at least one of your three young children will think it’s fine to start the day at 6am.

The story follows three mums who meet in the playground of a posh private school. Don’t be put off by the back cover blurb; it’s much better and less clichéd that it sounds. There are some fantastic observations about relationships with children and partners, some sharp dialogue and comic moments all mums can relate to. There’s a slightly contrived happy ending with everything working out for everyone, but it’s not the sort of book that wants to leave the reader feeling disatisfied for a character.

Enthused by this mummy-lit experience I will go back to the 10 stone 4-loathsome selfish character and see if she has any more to offer...

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