23 October 2009
Book Review: The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman
Natalie is embarrassed about being a single parent, so takes it upon herself to invent a husband who works in Italy, but the story gets harder and harder to keep up.... with hilarious results!
She doesn't have any friends with children, and she realises that she needs to get out with her newborn son more but doesn't know where to start, much like most new mums.
By having some work done at her house, she meets her first "mummy" friend, a 16 year old girl who is wiser than her years let on. It makes Natalie realise that she needs some friends, and attends a baby class where she meets another mum. The group of friends continues to grow, even including a stay-at-home dad, a nice modern inclusion! There are a wide range of characters from a teenage mum Jess, a single mum who is Natalie, a SAHD; Steve and an experienced mum whose life starts to fall apart around her; Meg. The book is very well written, and the variety of characters makes for interesting reading and it is nice to see different types of people coming together with a similar interest.
I could identify with the character of Jess, the 16 year old mum. She says that she feels people will think she is a bad mum because she had a baby young, and some of the looks I get in town say that too! But I felt sad when the book described Jess' relationship with her mum, and made me realise that I am lucky to have a close relationship with my mum.
I found the book very easy to get into, and once I had started, I didn't want to stop! It was funny, yet sad in places, and you could completely empathise with all of the characters, particularly Meg, the experienced mum of 4 whose life falls apart when her marriage dissolves. They were all very believable characters, and it was easy to like all of them, even Frances, the clean-obssessive! She is clearly the character we are supposed to sympathise with because of the way she is written, but I could see past the hard text and outer sheel Coleman had made for her and you can see the shy retiring lady outside the hard outer!
This book will appeal to anyone who likes a nice novel about families and relationships, as this is the thread which is running through the entire book. As I mentioned, it is well written, and the relationships between the characters really develops and deepens. Coleman is a great author of relationships, the ones in this book are fantastic, and this was also something I picked up in her previous novel I read.
Rowan Coleman is a talented writer, and I look forward to her future books if they are to be anything like this one! A talented writer who I am sure will be around for a while, but perhaps it might be nice to see her write about something other than babies and children!