20 January 2012
Book Review: Just Another Manic Mum-Day by Mink Elliott
Frustrated at the lack of places for stressed-out mums to go, Roxy and her new friend, Shoshanna, set up Just Another Manic Mum-Day - a café catering exclusively for parents. But when an opportunity arises for Roxy to return to England, she realises just how much she's missed home...
I read Mink Elliott's debut novel The Pissed Off Parents Club a couple of years ago when it came out, and really enjoyed it. As a mum, I could relate to a lot of what the main character Roxy was going through as a new mother, and found it to be quite a funny and good read. Mink is back this year with a follow-up to that book, joining the character of Roxy and her husband Jack again in Australia this time, with a new addition on the way too. I was looking forward to finding out what these characters have been up to, and I have to confess that the cover is really good, and I love the bright yellow because it's really fun and bright, much like the story inside!
Roxy is now living in Australia with her husband Jack, and now three year old daughter Joey, and struggling to adjust to life in the sunshine, without her friends and family around her to help out. She's looking for a new job as they need money, and is shocked to find out she's expecting another baby, something she wasn't entirely sure she wanted. She then starts up a mums cafe with best friend Shoshanna, and is determined to make a success of it. I really liked Roxy from the beginning, she was just as I remembered her from the previous book and a bit of a disorganised mum, something I'm sure a lot of mum's reading it will be able to relate to! Roxy struggled to juggle her job, being a mum to Joey and being a good wife to Jack, as well as being herself and in that respect, I think Elliott has done a great job in creating a realistic and believable character in Roxy.
The setting of Australia was great, and it made a nice change from the hundreds of chick lit books I seem to read that are set in London at the moment as well! It was nice to be all cosy under my blanket reading about the beautiful sunshine of Australia, and the funny escapades Roxy and co manage to get themselves into. Her cafe was a great idea, yes it was a bit idealistic how quickly and easily Roxy and Shoshanna managed to set it up and get it running, whereas in real life it'd take ten time longer and be much more a struggle to become a success, but I guess that's the escapist fun of reading it in books! The cafe was a really good thing and made for a great storyline within the book. I have to say I really liked Roxy's best friend Shoshanna as well, and although I totally didn't agree with the actions that she had in the book, I felt it was realistically portrayed and well written.
I have to comment on the way Roxy and Jack handled their relationship, and I think a lot of parents of young children will be able to relate to the troubles that they went through. I was really willing them on and hoped that they'd get the happy ending that they both deserved. The book has a lot of light-hearted humour, especially relating to their precocious and adorable daughter Joey, who has some great one-liners in the book, and there is a lot to make the reader smile. Yes, some things happen too easily, but the obstacles Roxy comes up against and the way she works through them is great and I really loved her as a leading lady. I think the ending of the book was open enough to bring back these characters for a third time, so we'll just have to wait and see for now. I definitely recommend Just Another Manic Mum-Day to anyone who likes a light-hearted and happy read, and especially to mum's who want something to relate to as they're reading! It's a great book and I really enjoyed reading it.
You can buy Just Another Manic Mum-Day in both paperback and as an eBook now. (links go to Amazon.co.uk)