21st Century Mums at Home

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Mums @ Home - Sophie KingA couple of months ago I read The School Run by Sophie King and really enjoyed it so I decided to look out for more books by this author. As a consequence I have just read Mums@Home which is just as enjoyable. The book is quite unusual in the fact that it is all about four people who stumble across a website which provides a forum for parents to discuss all sorts of issues, and although most of the book is written as a straightforward narrative, there are times when you are faced with a number of postings and messages from the website. This takes a bit of getting used to at first but it does add a different interesting dimension to the book The story follows four parents who all have a different story to tell and a different reason for seeking support from the website. Firstly there is Caroline who has three teenage children and is trying to come to terms with the knowledge that her husband had an affair. Susan struggles every day to bring up her severely disabled daughter Tabitha on her own. Her only solace is the day centre which she attends with Tabitha but that is in danger of closing. Lisa calls herself ‘expectent mum’ (her spelling!) and having already lost two babies is terrified of miscarrying again. And finally there is Mark who is bringing up his two children alone whilst trying to keep secret what has really happened to their mum. He also believes that he might not be able to talk as openly as he would like on the forum if it is known that he is a man so he calls himself Mimi! They all start to contribute to the website on a regular basis.

“I’m sure that lots of mums would identify with at least some of the characters in the book and some of the trials and tribulations that they go through.”

The book follows the stories of each of the four parents as they do their best to bring up their children. They are all entirely separate people who do not know each other but by one of two strange coincidences their paths do start to cross. Things are also not quite what they might seem and there were definitely a few surprises for the reader as the various stories unfolded. Each parent’s story is quite poignant and, particularly as a mum myself, I really did feel for them. All of these main characters are extremely likeable and I did find myself becoming quite caught up in all of the different storylines. The book is written in such a way that you cannot help but become caught up in each of their situations. However, this was not the case right from the start though as I did find the book quite slow to get going and near the beginning I did find my attention waning a little. At that point, I did remember that I had felt the same at the start of The School Run. Both books are definitely worth persevering with though as you gradually find yourself being drawn into a completely absorbing story. There are lots of different themes running through Mums@Home such as betrayal, love, friendship and despair. I’m sure that lots of mums would identify with at least some of the characters in the book and some of the trials and tribulations that they go through. This is of course also a very twenty first century type of book if you think about it as, writing about a website such as this would not have even been thought of ten years ago – how times move on! I really do recommend this book but you should be prepared to give it a chance to get going. It is just over 400 pages long and the paperback has a RRP of £6.99 although it is available cheaper.

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Mums at Home
by Sophie King

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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