From Mum with Love by Louise Emma Clarke
Publishing Date: 5th February 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 338
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Mum of one, Jess has had enough of endless diaper-filled days and her husband Chris has just the solution to vent her frustrations – a blog.
Jess loves her daughter more than anything, but sometimes she just wants a little bit of freedom – some time for herself. Cue a laptop, a glass of wine and the beginning of a life-changing journey.
Overnight Jess’s inbox is full of notifications and before long she is officially a ‘mummy blogger’ but this new life comes with its own set of rules and regulations. With Queen of the Bloggers, Tiggy, blanking her in public, people recognizing her on the street and her life decisions suddenly judged by strangers Jess’s idea of ‘me time’ is slowly becoming a full-time job.
Will Jess be able to find the right life/work balance? Or will she wish she’d never turned to a world online?
From the award-winning blogger behind ‘Mum of Boys & Mabel’.
Jess is a stay at home mum to a 14 – months – old daughter. She enjoys her maternity leave but also she realises that she needs something more than that, she needs inspiration and fulfilment. The fact that her husband is working full – time and almost never there doesn’t help. So when he encourages her to type the letters she has written to their daughter since she was born and create a blog, she gives it a thought and then a try. Quickly, she’s overwhelmed by the response and starts to gain the internet fame and followers – but also enemies.
Since I’m a mum myself, I found myself enjoying books with “Mummy” in the title, and about parenthood generally speaking, and this is why “From Mum with Love” caught my eye on NetGalley. Although, of course, you don’t have to be a mum to read this book, oh no! This book is a great, relatable and genuine read – however, I had huge problems with Jessica. She was mostly behaving like a spoiled child and I couldn’t help but wonder how come her husband bears with her. You know, blogging is not everything – or maybe it is, if you are relying on paid co – operations etc and the number of followers is what matters to you – and I’ve learnt long, long time ago that as much as I love blogging and writing about books, I do have a real life, you know, and it is much more worth to me than an odd negative comment. On one hand, Jessica was trying to stay down – to – earth, not let blogging to overwhelm her but on the other she was like a child that was refused a new toy and was presenting us with the biggest tantrum in the world, if something went wrong or differently to what she’s planned. Also, the number of followers sky – rocketing after one post, everybody ecstatic with the blog, awards, advertising happening immediately… I mean, hello? Being always unfair to her husband, taking it out on him, being angry that not everyone else in the blogging community is welcoming her with open arms, that not everybody adores her… Well, that’s life for you, right? I think that the subplot with her sister was much more interesting and I’d love for it to be more developed. But on the other hand, Jess was also a normal woman, just like you and me and had to face the same problems as other people. Her three friends, who we get to know in the story as well, were a breath of fresh air and I really loved them and their interactions.
I totally enjoyed Jess’s letters to her little daughter – they were poignant and moving, and so very honest, capturing all the highs and lows of being a new mum. Also the problems Jess had – apart those brought forth by the blog, of course, as they were simply too shallow for me – sound true to life and realistic.
My problems aside, it was a lovely, and also brutally honest story about being a new parent, and I could easily relate to Jessica and her observations. You know, such books are important, I think, because they show that you’re not the only one thinking/feeling like this – especially when you don’t have any support or just feel uneasy. There are not perfect mothers, no matter what, all of us have better and worse days and hats off to Louise Emma Clarke for telling how it really is. It is about learning what’s really important in life, about ups and downs of parenthood, about how important it is to be honest and to share but also about how to keep your identity, how to stay yourself after such a big change as becoming a baby.