I have LOVED the previous books by Gill Sims, the previous one being my absolutely favourite – so when the publisher emailed to see if I’d like an ARC of the 4th and final instalment (out in October 2020), I replied within seconds, and started reading it that afternoon!
Here’s the blurb:
“Number One bestselling author Gill Sims is back with her eagerly awaited fourth and final Why Mummy novel.
I just wanted them to stop wittering at me, eat vegetables without complaining, let me go to the loo in peace and learn to make a decent gin and tonic.
It genuinely never occurred to me when they were little that this would ever end – an eternity of Teletubbies and Duplo and In The Night Bastarding Garden and screaming, never an end in sight. But now there is. And despite the busybody old women who used to pop up whenever I was having a bad day and tell me I would miss these days when they were over, I don’t miss those days at all.
I have literally never stood wistfully in the supermarket and thought ‘Oh, how I wish someone was trailing behind me constantly whining ‘Mummy, can I have, Mummy can I have?’ while another precious moppet tries to climb out the trolley so they land on their head and we end up in A&E.
Mummy has been a wife and mother for so long that she’s a little bit lost. And despite her best efforts, her precious moppets still don’t know the location of the laundry basket, the difference between being bored and being hungry, or that saying ‘I can’t find it Mummy’ is not the same as actually looking for it.
Amidst the chaos of A-Levels and driving tests, she’s doing her best to keep her family afloat, even if everybody is set on drifting off in different directions, and that one of those directions is to make yet another bloody snack. She’s feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated, and the only thing that Mummy knows for sure is that the bigger the kids, the bigger the drink.“
Yet again – this is totally timely for me. It starts with Jane learning to drive – something I’m going through with my eldest at the moment! Peter and Jane are also studying for their GCSEs and A levels – exactly the same as my eldest two (although whether they’ll actually sit exams in the summer, who knows? #bloodyCovid) So all in all – I TOTALLY got this book! As with the rest of the series it frequently had be laughing out loud – and wondering if it was based on our household?!
But don’t be put off if you haven’t reached the teenage years yet, Ellen’s friend Hannah has a demon toddler, and the chapter where Ellen looks after him for 24 hours brought lots of those memories flooding back. Sudocrem and carpets are not happy bedfellows.
Although I should confess, and I feel I almost need to whisper, I’m not a dog person – so that bit of the storyline wasn’t relevant to me at all!!
I love how Ellen’s group of friends have stayed together throughout the books – and the support they provide each other – it’s great, and like meeting up with your own old friends.
The book then deals with Jane heading off to University in Edinburgh (weirdly as one of my good friends was dropping her daughter up to start studying there too!) and Ellen thinking about how she only has a couple more years of Peter at home before she has an empty nest! My sister is at this stage next week, and it’s really mixed feelings (having got 4 kids, an empty nest is A LONG way off for us, so I’m possibly less emotional about the whole thing!)
The storyline was reasonably predictable – with some very amusing twists and turns along the way – but I actually really liked that, and as the final book in the series, I think it concluded brilliantly. I think it’s usurped book 3 as my favourite in the series!
I’ll miss Ellen! Maybe she can come back when we’re all going to have grandkids?!?
A huge thank you to Harper Collins and NetGalley for the advance review copy – and to Gill Sims for yet another fabulous book!