I arrived home from work the other evening to find that our lovely nanny had left a copy of this book on my desk to read. I’m not sure if it is a bit concerning that she chose a book called ‘Why Mummy Drinks’, I’m hoping she realised it was a novel and wasn’t giving me a self help book?!?!?
Another friend had raved about this last year – and I have read some of Gill Sims Facebook posts about ‘Peter and Jane’ which spawned this book – so I was looking forward to it.
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“Why Mummy Drinks is the brilliant novel from Gill Sims, the author of the online sensation Peter and Jane.
It is Mummy’s 39th birthday. She is staring down the barrel of a future of people asking if she wants to come to their advanced yoga classes, and polite book clubs where everyone claims to be tiddly after a glass of Pinot Grigio and says things like ‘Oooh gosh, are you having another glass?’
But Mummy does not want to go quietly into that good night of women with sensible haircuts who ‘live for their children’ and stand in the playground trying to trump each other with their offspring’s extracurricular activities and achievements, and boasting about their latest holidays.
Instead, she clutches a large glass of wine, muttering ‘FML’ over and over again. Until she remembers the gem of an idea she’s had…”
I have to say I enjoyed it straight away! There have been other books written about motherhood – Hurrah for Gin‘s springs to mind immediately as one I’ve reviewed – and they were good, but in this, Peter and Jane are 8 and 6 – almost exactly the same age as my youngest two children, and so it was sooooo much more currently relevant than newborn related books.
As well as laughing (and shaking in an attempt not to wake my sleeping husband) – I was nodding in total agreement (I have a 6 year old who still wants to keep taking the lovely pink Calpol and not to have to have the 6+ version. Equally I have a 14 year old who insists on still taking the 6+ sweets style Calpol rather than proper paracetamol tablets – I’m not sure 6+ Calpol is designed for period pain…….. )
The book is written in the style of a diary – school year diary not calendar year diary – and all the major events are covered! Christmas was a particular favourite for me – but I won’t ruin it for you by telling you what happens. There was also a family trip to The Savoy – which we did last year (and the stress about not having WAG style luggage was real!) – and the swimming pool, that we loved, got a mention too.
There are people in it – from the school gates / friends / family – who you will recognise IMMEDIATELY. Clearly I’m not going to name names (well, not unless you buy me a gin or two!) but you will totally recognise people you know. I texted one of my sisters as I was part way through the book as I knew she’d love it (and she never reads my book review blog posts – how rude!) and she downloaded it instantly – and then texted me to complain she was not getting through any of her ‘to do list’ for the weekend as she loved it so much she couldn’t put it down!!
It’s a bit sweary, there’s a recurring alcohol theme throughout, it’s fabulously middle class and suburban – and just bloody brilliant! It reminded me of the TV programme Motherland that covered similar topics (but I have to say, I think ‘Why Mummy Drinks’ is better, and I preferred Ellen to Julia as the main character.)
I’m not sure where this will fit into my 2018 Reading Challenge – but I don’t care! It was worth going off piste because it was so good. And I am DELIGHTED there is to be a sequel so we can find out what happens to Ellen, Simon, Jane and Peter next – in Why Mummy Swears which is out in July – hoorah!