I'm delighted to be on the blog tour for this debut novel from Kathleen Whyman Thanks to the publisher, Hera Books, and Rachel's Random Resources for the advance reader copy.
'We’ve got the balance all wrong. Instead of living with our partners, struggling to do everything by ourselves and only seeing each other now and then, we should do it the other way round. We should live together and see them now and then.'Erica knows her suggestion sounds extreme, but when her nanny leaves without notice, she’s extremely desperate. Polly and Louise aren’t convinced, but when circumstances force them to move into Polly’s enormous but run-down house, they have to admit life’s much easier when the childcare and work is shared.At first, communal living seems like the answer to their prayers - childcare on tap, rotas for cleaning and someone always available to cook dinner (no more last-minute pizza delivery!). But over time, resentment starts to grow as they judge each other’s parenting styles and bicker over cleaning, cooking and whose turn it is to buy toilet rolls.And as one woman has her head turned by a handsome colleague, one resorts to spying on her husband and another fights to keep a dark secret, they need each other more than ever. But can Polly, Louise and Erica keep their friendship and relationships strong? Or will their perfect mumtopia fall apart?Essential reading for anyone fed up with never-ending housework/homeschooling/ preparing healthy meals that their kids reject … Fans of Why Mummy Drinks, Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? and Beth O’Leary won’t want to miss this one!
I was certainly intrigued by the premise of this book - women living together, supporting each other with childcare and housework. What could go wrong?
Quite a lot, as it happens!
Different lives, different personalities, different ways of parenting, these all add up to a potential mine field - not to mention a dilapidated house which is falling to pieces.
The story is told from each of the three women's point of view, and this allows us to get to know each character quite well. I warmed to Polly straight away; she's flawed, vulnerable but is ultimately doing the best she can for her family. The other two seem quite selfish to me; one in particular is quite bitter, and almost nasty to others; the other is easily swayed by opportunities that play to the narcissistic side of her personality. That's not to say they don't learn from experience - I just found it hard to warm to them.
The men in their lives are quite different too; one is a total narcissist - quite well matched with his wife, I thought, at the beginning of the novel; one is lovely and quite frankly pretty poorly treated by his wife); and there are a couple of absolutely gorgeous dream men to drool over!
It's a thought provoking read about friendships and family, and I enjoyed it very much.
Buy your copy here:
About the Author:
Kathleen is a writer for Writers’ Forum magazine, a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and her second book was recently longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Comedy Novel prize.