Monday, 14 September 2015

Review - The Misadventures of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow

Little did I know when I sat down to start reading The Misadventures of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow one Sunday afternoon that I would not be moving or putting the book down until I had finished it. There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that this is one of those books that readers will fall in love with and be left with smiles on their faces. I, personally, thoroughly enjoyed it and thought that it was a delightful read. 

Rachel Young, mum of four, is the narrator of this novel and we accompany her on her journey through the school year which sees her come face-to-face in the playground with many mothers who she’d much rather not. One mother who she is particularly keen to avoid is Penelope but it’s clear from the outset that due to Penelope’s rather manipulative ways this is not going to happen. However, luckily for Rachel there’s a new mum, Melanie, on the scene who is one of the very few down-to-earth faces in a sea of competitive, eccentric and sometimes crazy playground mothers. 

Throughout the novel a very good friendship developed between Rachel and Melanie and for this I’m glad because Rachel was such a likeable character who was so easy to connect with and I would have hated to witness her putting up with all of Penlope’s antics on her own. Indeed, I would not have tolerated Penelope with the patience that Rachel did, particularly given the outrageous and somewhat unbelievable activities Penelope dragged Rachel into. One of the most memorable and hilarious event was the holiday to Spain which was intended just for Rachel and her family but was then gatecrashed by Penelope, her children and on-off husband. 

Only after reading this book did I become aware of the fact that there was a book which preceded this called A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother. Although if I had known that there was a first book I would most certainly have read it first, I didn’t feel that I was lacking information or had any unanswered questions in any way. This is without a doubt testament to the fact that the author set the scene perfectly and provided plenty of background information within the opening pages. 

The Misadventures of a Playground Mother was a perfectly crafted novel with a whole cast of characters who all had a part to play and whose paths all crossed at one point or another. This was an unforgettable novel and one which I would highly recommend to those looking for something to cheer them up and brighten their dark autumn nights. 

I’m already very much looking forward to reading more by Christie Barlow in the future and would just like to end this review by thanking the team at Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to review this book.