Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Review - Fiona GIBSON – “Mummy said the f-word”

Publ: 2008 Hodder & Stoughton
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 0 340 83834 1
Genre: Romantic comedy
Pages: 311
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** ****

What led you to pick up this book?
On the ‘New Books’ Shelf at Pensby Library. Thought the title sounded promising and the blurb confirmed it might be good.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Caitlin is a mother of three and still wife of man who has departed with the wet t-shirt girl who installed a water-cooler in his office (aka Slapper). The book charts the installation of Cait as an Agony Aunt in a children’s magazine and her attempts to find something of her pre-wed self. in the process she considers the merits / demerits of various men in her life whilst battling Slapper for the affection of one of her children. She logs on to her computer with the password 'F***wit' and, against all advice, gets into e-mail correspondence with a stranger.....

What did you think of the characters?
Adults and children excellently drawn. Life is often this combination of emotional mess and humour but rarely are its players captured so well and so amusingly.

What did you think about the style?
Heart-warming, hilarious and easy reading.

What did you like most about the book?
Plot, style, characterisation – the lot.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.

Passable. I liked the lower case lettering. Without that it would have been less than average.

Would I recommend it?
Definitely, but, as always, with the qualification “only if you like this genre”. Fiona Gibson has proved a match for Carole Matthews.

Totally irrelevant side note:

I like the occasional romantic comedy as a break fom deeper stuff but only if they are good – this was good!


Sam has hauled me out of a pit of depression, stopping me from feeling like a crushed eggshell cat the bottom of the pedal bin of life. I am now a baked-bean can, roughly half-way up..

For several years mine and Martin’s sex life had felt like something that had to be attended to every so often, like clearing leaves out of the gutter. These days, now that i am no longer a sexual-being, I don’t wish to be reminded that every other adult on the entire planet – apart from my mother and Sam – is indulging in fabulous rumpy on a regular basis.

“We have a magnetic board in the classroom,” she continues, “with the letters of the alphabet... Jake took it upon himself to come in at breaktime.. and arrange the letters to form a... an inappropriate word.”
“Which word?” I ask.
“ bad word?”
“Which bad word?” I’m losing patience now.
“It was –“ Miss Rice flicks her glance towards the office door, in case a child might be lurking there and keel over at the horror of it all – “the worst one,” she hisses. “The one we never say.”

FIONA GIBSON is a freelance journalist who has written for the Guardian and Observer and has a weekly column on parenting in the Sunday Herald. She was previously the editor of More! magazine. The mother of three small children (including twin boys) she lives in Lanarkshire.

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