Friday, September 3, 2010

Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill

First, let me say that I have learned after reading Fiona Neill's book Slummy Mummy that the term "slummy" in British English is more akin to our word sloppy as opposed to the more common usage of the phrase.

Second, let me point out that I did not expect to like this book. I didn't think I would hate it, but I also didn't pick it up expecting to read a great story or encounter great literature. I saw Slummy Mummy as a mindless diversion book.

Having those two caveats out of the way, I will admit I enjoyed Slummy Mummy more than I intended. Imagine, as a mother, your worst possible morning taking the kids to school, turn that day into a routine which occurs every day, and then add a good touch of humor. Now you have the basis for Neill's novel. Lucy Sweeney, the "mum" in the title is drowning in a sea of overwhelming motherhood. She cannot keep up with her kids' needs on a daily basis and her OCD husband does not seem to help the situation.

Sweeney finds herself competing with other school parents like the "Yummy Mummys," the "Alpha Mum," and "Sexy Domesticated Dad." The thing is, as a parent of school-age kids I would hate to admit I'm a slummy mummy, but I do know my fair share of yummy mummies and alpha mums. Neill's descriptions are really funny because they're so real.

On top of the humor, Neill tells a pretty good story. Sweeney finds herself unhappy with her personal life and turns to a flirtation with Sexy Domesticated Dad to push her out of her misery. The humorous antics and horrific moments in the story end up telling a good plot. Everyone is relatively redeemed in the end. but it actually made me stop and think about my own family situation. I hadn't anticipated that when I looked at the front cover.

It is diverting and not terribly heavy. The cover might forgo a read in public. But Slummy Mummy is worth the read.

No comments: