Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Thursday, 10 February 2011
We share an armchair. She’s watching Mary Poppins and I’m wedged in there somewhere with a book and a cup of tea. I’m oblivious to the film but, it seems, I am disturbing her viewing. “Why do you keep laughing, Mummy?”
Because I’m reading Cari Rosen’s account of being pregnant, giving birth and raising a young child for the very first time in her 40s (and she’s far from alone - apparently, the number of babies born in Britain to women over the age of 40 has doubled during the past decade). And it’s very funny. Throughout. In the first chapter, I was worried that the author might have added too many self-deprecating or observationally comedic moments but, as I warmed to her style, I was happy for her to just bring it on.
It’s an easy memoir to read, an effortless journey of, “Oh, yeah, I so remember that one,” or, “Totally!” for any mother, regardless of age. The first half of The Secret Diary of a New Mum Aged 43 1/4, which deals with pregnancy and birth, got me thinking in earnest about my own experiences as a (not so young either) mum, while the second, which concentrates on Cari’s experiences as a real-life mum to a baby who becomes a toddler, is jam packed with astute comments as she comes to terms with the stumbles and joys of new motherhood. References to her own child are immensely cute, without any sense that she would consider hers to be funnier/prettier/happier/more intelligent than yours, while recollections of a 1960s and 1970s childhood are great fun.
It’s insightful too and the author has done her research, talking to other new mums of the younger and older variety, whom she quotes, bringing a wider perspective to motherhood in the 21st Century. As for fatherhood, some of the quips and sideways glances supplied, through Cari, by her husband are priceless.
A recommended read! Especially if you've already said goodbye to 35. And then had a baby.
The Secret Diary of a New Mum Aged 43 1/4 by Cari Rosen is published by Vermilion and available to buy at £11.99
To win a copy of the book, see Weston-super-Mum's Competitions and Offers
Review by Becky Condron, author of Broody
Friday, 4 February 2011
In fact, with The Valentine’s Fae, just the opposite happened: I didn’t want to stop reading. Romantic, sexy fiction isn’t a genre I usually find myself browsing, so this short magical tale took me by surprise.
The story centres on the Valentine’s Fairy, Amelia: confidence-deficient, gawky, vulnerable, kooky, rebellious Amelia. We can see that she’s beautiful but she hasn’t realised it yet. Sent reluctantly by the Fae Council to the human world, armed with fae magic, to grant one wish on Valentine’s Day, she lands up as secretary to the “impossible, hot, annoying, hot, infuriating” Gavin Peters. Now, all Amelia has to do is discover his one true Valentine’s wish.
Emma Shortt writes with wit and originality and, at some points in the story, I had to let out a little cheer and a clap of the hands. The Valentine’s Fae is deliciously sexy and keeps the reader right on the edge, eyes not daring to leave the page. This fairy tale for adults flows effortlessly and it kept me gripped to the very end. And that is something to be celebrated!
Now, I just need to get hold of some of that fae dust ...
The Valentine’s Fae is currently available as an ebook and is published by Evernight Publishing.
Review by Becky Condron