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Sunday 4 December 2016

The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley

About The Good Enough Mother

Gatlin - a leafy affluent town; Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch. However, all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman. Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan...unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin. Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical and hilarious black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.
My Review of The Good Enough  Mother

Oh where do I start? Other than to say that I absolutely loved this book! I can honestly say that I have never read a book quite like it. It is shocking, hilarious and heart wrenching, all at the same time. I'll do my best to try and explain why I love this book so much.
Firstly, this is not your average feel good book about being a mother. It is not to be used as a parenting manual or some kind of self help guide to make you feel good. This book is very different, and is very obviously different  from the first page. This is an honest, tell it like it is story, of a woman who becomes a mother, after her boyfriend leaves her, and she does her  absolute best to fulfill that role. The book is dark, with lots of black comedy, so if you do not enjoy black humour, or swearing, )there is a lot of swearing mixed into many laugh out loud moments), I laughed an awful lot, then this book is probably not for you. But having said that, this book was definitely for me. It was the much needed antidote to all of those feel good mother books, that do nothing to make you feel good about yourself, in fact they make you feel worse. This book is very much about real life issues and a real life mother, who I felt was good enough.
So, we have Drea, the woman who has motherhood thrust upon her. Ava is not her biological daughter, but she has helped to raise her from the age of four, when her biological mother wanted nothing to do with her. This tells you everything you need to know about Drea's character. No matter what else happens in the book, with all of the dark dealings that she gets up to, (there are a lot), she is a caring and considerate mother who loves her daughter. In fact, everything that she gets up to is because of that unconditional love, and isn't that what motherhood is all about? Unconditional love? It is only because her boyfriend leaves her, and refuses to pay Ava's extortionate private school fees, that Drea has to resort to drastic measures in order to find the money. But this is only one side of her character. She is deeply funny, and I knew from reading the book that I would want her as a friend. She would always tell the absolute truth, but also, she would always be there for me.
This book is very funny. I love the descriptions of the yummy mummies, oh we all know them, who rock up on the school run in their Landrovers and of road monstrosities. Those mothers with the perfectly applied make up. Drea is not one of them and nor does she strive to be one. She is a loner, a woman who smokes joints, and has whisky with her breakfast hot chocolate. But she is not shameful of this fact. Nor does she hide it. But the real reason I loved this character was because of the many layers that were revealed throughout the novel. She is who she is, partly because of a traumatic event in her childhood, which is the reason  why she always caries around in her handbag a lethal dose of paracetemol. She is ready to die. This subject I felt, was tackled with both respect, empathy and understanding. The author does not make light of this aspect of the character, but instead explains why Drea feels this way. It is not done for comedic affect or to shock,  but is simply a part of who she is. This is a subject matter that is often portrayed incorrectly and with little respect in literature, but this author gets the balance just right, and this is often difficult to achieve.
The Good Enough Mother, is indeed about the human condition. It is about how we live in a community, how we interact in that community and the decisions that we make in life. Life is after all, one huge journey. It is also about the trials and tribulations of motherhood, with that one question forever in the back of my mind; Am I good enough? Isn't that a question that all parents ask? This book will make you laugh and sob uncontrollably. I have no shame in admitting that. This is a stunning debut novel that will leave you with an empty and hollow feeling in the pit of your chest, long after you have read the last page.
It's that good.
The Good Enough Mother is available to buy from most bookshops and can be bought from Amazon here.
About the author

Anoushka Beazley has a film degree, an acting diploma and a masters in creative writing. She is a full time novelist, lives in North London with three little witches, a lawyer and a Maine Coon. 

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