21 February 2008
Book Review: Mummy Said The F-Word by Fiona Gibson
So when Cait, a chaotic single mother, becomes Bambino’s agony aunt, she thinks she might be the single worst person to do the job. But despite her early unwillingness, she realises gradually that the women who are writing to her really do need help, and ultimately she finds herself taking her own advice. And things take a romantic turn when she starts a correspondence with a mysterious reader – a single dad who merely signs his name ‘R’ . . .
Meanwhile, her life outside work is complicated by her best male friend, the kids’ dad, and the TV repair man – all of whom seem to be taking an interest in her.
Will Cait ever be able to answer the enormous pile of mail she receives every day? Will she ever stop being irritated by her strangely flirty ex-husband and his awful new girlfriend? And, after all this time, will she be able find true love?"
I have to start the rest of the analysis by saying I really did adore this book. It was a riot from start to finish and I just could not put it down. The author Fiona Gibson has such a realistic way of writing that you are just sucked into the story and wanting to find out what Cait is going to do next. Cait's first person narrative is hilarious and so easy to read, it is just chick-lit at its very best. As its written from Cait's perspective, we hear a lot of anti-Martin remarks (and rightly so) as well as the hardships of parent-hood which any mum or dad up and down the country will recognise! Also, the agony letters to Cait through the magazine guarantee laughs as well - it does make you wonder whether people really send in these questions to magazines! Cait's guilt over not being able to reply to them makes her human, I think I'd feel the same actually!
Cait is a very well-developed character and is a pleasure to read about, she's a strong woman who clearly adores her children but feels somewhat a lone island after Martin's departure. Martin is written as the hate-character in the book, for obvious reasons! He is quite spineless, especially in his treatment of his kids which is dire! Sam the next door neighbour pops up little and often, but is a nice character and you do get under-currents of something between him and Cait. Millie, the editor of Bambino, is just hilarious, especially in the fact that she edits a parenting magazine when she doesn't have any children! Wonders never cease, hey?! The children are also written well, her youngest son Travis is hilarious and a bit like my Harry, mischievious but very loveable! Her daughter LOla isn't about much but her eldest boy Jake plays an important rle later on in the book, and Gibson writes the trials and tribulations of both Cait and Jake incredibly well in those areas.
I think it's the realism in this book which makes it so likeable. Gibson writes with a natural flair of parenting, its obvious that some of the things in this book have probably happened to her or her friends, as its just so realistic, and it made me laugh out loud! Tantrums in the shop over a sausage, pulling bugs out of the mud and various other child activties happen in this book, and I've already been through a few of them, which weren't funny at the time, but reading them back is just hilarious! Cait's honest commentary throughout also helps, with her at times at the end of her tether, showing us we can't all be super-mum all the time! Parenting is a topic which is covered time and time again in the books these days, but this book stands out for me among the many titles on this topic out there, just for its laugh and readability, and for me that is pretty good!
I can honestly say this book was fantastic. It dove straight in there with its gritty plotline but quickly melted into its easy reading, pleasant narrative from a very likeable lead character whom you naturally grow very fond of throughout the book. Very realistic throughout, this book is a must-read for mums and dads out there, just so you know it happens to us all, and even for non-parents as a stark reality of what is to come! It's hilarious, it's fabulous reading and I must say that it is a must-read! A superb novel, I shall be hunting out more of Gibson's work after reading this!