Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****! by Gill Sims
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: 27th June 2019
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 352
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
I’m wondering how many more f*cking ‘phases’ I have to endure before my children become civilised and functioning members of society? It seems like people have been telling me ‘it’s just a phase!’ for the last fifteen bloody years. Not sleeping through the night is ‘just a phase.’ Potty training and the associated accidents ‘is just a phase’. The tantrums of the terrible twos are ‘just a phase’. The picky eating, the back chat, the obsessions. The toddler refusals to nap, the teenage inability to leave their beds before 1pm without a rocket being put up their arse. The endless singing of Frozen songs, the dabbing, the weeks where apparently making them wear pants was akin to child torture. All ‘just phases!’ When do the ‘phases’ end though? WHEN?
Mummy dreams of a quirky rural cottage with roses around the door and chatty chickens in the garden. Life, as ever, is not going quite as she planned. Paxo, Oxo and Bisto turn out to be highly rambunctious, rather than merely chatty, and the roses have jaggy thorns. Her precious moppets are now giant teenagers, and instead of wittering at her about who would win in a fight – a dragon badger or a ninja horse – they are Snapchatting the night away, stropping around the tiny cottage and communicating mainly in grunts – except when they are demanding Ellen provides taxi services in the small hours. And there is never, but never, any milk in the house. At least the one thing they can all agree on is that rescued Barry the Wolfdog may indeed be The Ugliest Dog in the World, but he is also the loveliest.
I’m so happy to say that Ellen is back, with another year full of trials, tribulations, surprises and troubles. Jane is now fifteen years old, spending her days of her cell phone, going to parties, living and breathing make – up and feeling embarrassed by her mother. Peter is thirteen and he spends his days playing video games and eating all the food he can find in the fridge. Simon… well, Simon is actually not there. Ellen and Simon are divorced now. Ellen and the children have moved to the cottage of her dreams (almost. Except for the damp, the single bathroom and no roses by the door). So it’s not wonder that mummy not only drinks too much, swears too much but also doesn’t give a ****, right?
Oh holy moly, how to write a review for this book to do it a justice? Impossible task, I’d say.
The third (and I pray to God, not the last one!) part of the series by Gill Sims deals with the stress of coping with teenage children. I know, we all think that first it’s infancy, then the terrible two, then pre – adolescence etc that is the worst what can happen, so let’s agree on the fact that all of those phases are simply stressful. Putting it mildly. I may be not in Ellen’s shoes yet but I can’t sleep and need a whisky only when I think about my daughter reaching puberty, thinking I have all this to come. So it really rang a bell, this book. And was a kind of warning.
This is a raw and brutally honest picture of being a parent. Sweary and normal. Realistic, even if the situations are a bit exaggerated (or not?). The author doesn’t beat around the bush and she deserves a standing ovation for this – telling how it is, not afraid to use crude language and a lot of drinking but this is what I have expected and wanted from this book. She also intermingles the hilarity and humour with some brief moments of seriousness, adding depth to the light tone.
I am still in love with Ellen and I want to have her confidence. She is full of flaws (who isn’t) and swears a lot (who doesn’t) and has a great way around her children, handling them in open way. And the children’s antics are hilarious, their attitudes are so real. And they have their moments. And Ellen deals with them. But they really feel grown up, the children, and I like that the author keeps on top of it and let her characters grow up and mature. I love Ellen’s sense of humour, her attitude, the way she sees and describes things and that she’s not afraid to tell how it is. I, on the other hand, should probably get a special prize for all the things I didn’t say and that should be said. Ellen is so relatable with the way she is, with her worries, hopes and desperation. The author has done an excellent job in bringing her characters’ personalities to the pages, and I think they all are going to appeal to all kinds of the audience.
It was easy, quick and funny read that made me feel normal. There were moments that I rolled my eyes and nodded at things that could so happen to me. I would probably go that far and say that it is the best yet – it made me laugh out loud and cry in the next moment. Gill Sims is not only a champion of writing humorous, hilarious scenes, but she also deals with the sad and poignant ones in a gentle, understanding way, and the book does feel a little more serious and mature in tone, even though, of course, the hysterical finny is still there. It’s a book that I really needed in my life now, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
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