I ADORED the first book by Gill Sims – ‘Why Mummy Drinks’ when it came out last year – and so have been eagerly anticipating the sequel. I have been stalking Netgalley in an attempt to secure a copy – not because I wanted it for free, hell no, I’d have paid double to get my hands on it – just to get it as soon as possible! So I was DELIGHTED when I saw it pop up and did a proper happy dance when they approved me for an advanced review copy.
Here’s the blurb:
“It’s every parents’ nightmare – the start of the school holidays – and instead of sitting in the sun, reading a book over a cold, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, Mummy has two bored moppets to attend to. After frantically booking sports camps, child minder slots, not to mention time off work, Mummy is exhausted. But this is only the beginning…
After being dragged to join the school’s PTA in the new term by an annoyingly kind-spirited neighbour, Mummy is stuck with organising the Christmas Fayre and pleasing all the overly disapproving parents. In combination with getting to know her father’s surprise new glamorous (and much younger) wife, and being forced to spend more time with her narcissistic mother, life isn’t cutting her much of a break. What more could possibly happen?”
So this picks up a couple of years down the line from the first book and puts us back into the lives of Ellen, Simon, Jane and Peter. (I should point out I’ve had massive issues writing ‘Jane and Peter’ when ‘Peter and Jane’ is so much more familiar an order. However, my brain INSISTS that children are listed in age order. If my own children co-ordinate their joint writing of a card – to a grandparent or other family member – woe betide them if they don’t do it in the correct order. I also have to check the children in ascending or descending order at bedtime – as to randomly skip between the 4 would bring a plague on the house over night. I realise I am digressing somewhat – a bit like Ellen in a job interview #injoke)
There was definitely no ‘difficult second album’ about this book – it was a corker right from the start
It is fabulously written – and just so true to life in so many ways.
The bits about the PTA are spot on – when I was on the committee (back when my first two kids were young, by the time it was the second two, my husband threatened divorce if I recommitted!) the husband did ask if we could buy ourselves out with a donation rather than have to keep spending hours volunteering and not seeing our own children at events. Although I also remember getting hideously drunk with a very good friend at a summer fayre (yes, why is it fayre not fair?!? I thought that was just our PTA – but seemingly this is a national phenomenon) and being left in charge of the carousel – and not having a clue how long each session was. #dizzykids
Also the whole working Mum shizzle. My husband is brilliant, totally hands on, great Dad – but still the day to day kids admin, the who needs to be where and when, the how we sort out holiday cover all falls to me. Admittedly I’m a total control freak and would probably stress even more if he was in charge – but still, from what I see with most of my friends, it always falls at the mother rather than father’s door.
The additional characters around the central family are great – and you can see so many people you know in it! As with my review of the previous book – I am naming no names – unless you bribe me with gin.
As the title would suggest – there is some fruity language – but I’m guessing you wouldn’t even consider this book if that was an issue. I can imagine a significant number of ex PTA chairs that I know wishing they’d used some of the risque language in emails to parents as happens in the book!!
Now – I broke one of my cardinal reading rules, and abandoned another book part way through to read this – I felt like I was being unfaithful to the other book – but #whatevs. I also have no clue where it will fit into my 2018 Reading Challenge – but frankly, I don’t care! It was FABULOUS. I was also very excited when I got to the acknowledgements (yes, I am that sad, I read those too) to find out that a friend and colleague of my lovely book industry insider friend was an editor for this – so now I can practically claim to be Gill Sims’s BFF. #weirdstalkerreviewer
A HUGE thank you to Netgalley for letting me get my paws on this a month early – and for everyone else, get your pre order in on Amazon now, you will not regret it!