Monday 29 April 2019

✪ The Bad Mother's Book Club ✪ Keris Stainton ✪

Since moving to the seaside for her husband's job (in Liverpool), Emma Chance's life is all about long walks on the beach (with the dog), early nights (with the kids), and Netflix (no chill). She's bored. And lonely.

When a school gate mum and almost-friend tells Emma about an exclusive book club - hosted by Head of the PTA (and wife of a footballer, but NOT a Footballer's Wife) Jools Jackson - she thinks it could be the perfect solution, but she doesn't like Jools and Jools doesn't seem to like her either. So she's surprised when Jools invites her along. And it's fine. It's not quite what Emma was looking for - she doesn't have much in common with the other mums and the book club meetings have too much focus on the books and not enough on, say, wine and gossip - but it's better than nothing.

After a couple of awkward months, an accident with a glass of red wine on a white carpet, and Jools's daughter learning the word "fucknugget", Jools tells Emma she's no longer welcome in her club. Emma is at first self-righteous, then embarrassed - and curious about why Jools's husband was crying in his car - but eventually settles back into boredom and loneliness again.

But Emma's blacklisting by Jools seems to endear her to the other school mums. They all have a Jools story, along with their own tales of shame and humiliation. Long (sometimes whispered) chats at the school gates, become even longer, laughter-filled, conversations in the small library at the bottom of School Lane, until Emma realises she can start her own book club - no cleaners, polite conversation or, realistically, reading required: The Bad Mothers' Book Club is born.

ARC received from Hachette Australia for an honest review

The Bad Mother's Book Club is my first Keris Stainton, and it won't be my last.

This book is kind of like Big Little Lies meets Bad Moms at the school pick up line.

Whilst there some book clubbing involved, it is more about he mothers, their lives and how things are not necessarily greener on the other side.

I completely adored some of the characters, some I just detested, and then there were those in the middle whom I wasn't sure, and could have fallen either way.  I liked that we got them all in one novel, as we do in real life.

I liked being taken on the journey of Emma, Jools and Maggie (along with some other secondary characters) as they face the trials and tribulations of life, love, friendship.

Oh, and I neeeeed to be part of this book club.

I laughed, I got angry, I got frustrated, but mostly I smiled.

This is a fun, quick read that I look forward to going back to read again in the future.

Keris Stainton was born in Canada, grew up on the Wirral, lived in London for a while and now lives in Lancashire with two boys, two guinea pics, and an unhealthy (but enjoyable) obsession with One Direction. She's written books for children, teenagers and adults, and can always be found on Twitter.