Janet Hoggarth comes to the blog with a surprisingly honest and funny story about making Lemonade from Lemons (and the liberal addition of gin) when life turns in unexpected ways in
The Single Mums’ Mansion
Amanda, mum of 3 under 5’s has just had the worst happen: her husband has up sticks and moved out leaving her in their “forever home” that was (and is) in need of renovation and restoration. With her youngest just over a year old, she’s constantly juggling kiddos, dodging lego and sharp-toy landmines and trying, not always well, to keep it all together. Amanda’s best friends Ali and Mel are solidly supportive, even with their own issues. And a new ‘friend” from a Mommy & Me class, Jacqui joins the gang. See, Ali is pregnant with her first (a not welcome surprise for her husband) and Jacqui is a divorced mum of two. So at different stages of their lives and relationships, not to mention everyone struggling with ‘parenting’ as we all do – the story has a sense of “yes – I remember that” to all mums.
And then, from a reasonably slow start that let Amanda’s character develop and present itself as someone wanting, worrying and ignoring all those things we all do – it’s Ali and her daughter into the attic rooms in the house, and Jacqui in with her two – she’s there always anyway. Combining cash flow, support, sitting, childcare and even a stand in for hangover time (screaming toddlers are even less tolerable when hungover) the women start to put their lives on paths unexpected before marriage and children changed their plans.
Lovely for the honesty, support and friendships that these three have come to rely on, not to mention the ever-present struggle of dealing with self-absorbed, self-centered and often selfish spouses more than willing to be “the fun parent” with little to no regard for the realities of parenthood. Sure, the first words may be less than savory – and requests that little pitchers leave those embarrassing and difficult questions for “Daddy Time”, add a subtle hint of spread the torture about to those who deserve it most.
An intriguing and fun read, purely delightful for those looking for a story that shows how support, friendship and a bit of mayhem in your life may be just what is needed.
Title: The Single Mums' Mansion
Author: Janet Hoggarth
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Humor elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: Aria
Published on: 1 June, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Amanda Wilkie unexpectedly finds herself alone with her three children in a rambling Victorian house in London. Her husband leaves them, claiming he's just 'lost the love', like one might carelessly lose a glove.
A few months later, Amanda's heavily pregnant friend, Ali, crashes into her kitchen announcing her husband is also leaving. So, after Ali's baby Grace is born, they both move into Amanda's attic. And when Jacqui, a long-lost friend and fellow single mum, starts dropping by daily, the household is complete.
Getting divorced is no walk in the park, but the three friends refuse to be defined by it. And, as they slowly emerge out of the wreckage like a trio of sequin-clad Gloria Gaynors singing 'I Will Survive', they realise that anything is possible. Even loving again...
For all fans of Motherland, Allison Pearson and Hurrah for Gin.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: