Honestly, I found reading this book a bit odd. Not in a bad way though. The reason I found it odd is that it has no real solid plot to speak of, it's just a walk through the daily trials and tribulations of a mother with two small children.
Despite the lack of defined storyline, I found the book instantly relatable. Within a couple of pages, I was rooting for Lucy and invested in what was going on in her familiarly hectic life. She feels like a mate that you could chat to down the pub, or meet up for coffee with, and at times I felt like I was reading my own mind. The character was written with warmth and honesty, both of which fed into the fact that I felt a kinship with her rather than feeling like she was moaning about everything in her life; a fine line to walk, but one that was walked well in this book.
Similarly, I instantly connected to the gorgeousness that is the character of Stanley. The precocious little toddler is so well-written that he steals the show from the minute he appears on the page. His journey throughout the book is, at times, hard to read and gut-wrenchingly challenging, but the author has done a wonderful job at showing the complexity of having a child on the autism spectrum. It's not something I knew much about before reading this book, but I now feel more informed and empathetic. My favourite part is how she captured the reality that the diagnosis is just that, a diagnosis. It doesn't change her relationship with her son at all, and actually serves to give her more confidence in her parenting. It packed a surprising emotional punch; it was beautiful and affirming.
It was a very funny, brutally honest look at parenting, especially in the first year of having two children (something I'm in the depths of right now and so really enjoyed reading about). There were a couple of moments of toilet humour that felt a little unnecessary, but otherwise I laughed and grinned my way through the whole thing.
Totally recommend for anyone who is more interested in talking about parenting for what it really is than living up to the Instagram hype of "modern parenting".
*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Your family doesn't fit the mould. So what?
Since giving birth to her second child, Lucy's life is totally unrecognisable: the romance in her marriage is officially dead and so is the career it took her years to build.
Instead of playing the cello behind superstars at packed-out arenas, Lucy now spends most days mopping up broccoli vomit whilst listening to her four-year-old recite facts about the gallbladder. Something needs to change.
With a little help from her friends, Lucy comes up with a plan to get her life on track, claw back her career and help her extraordinary son to find his place in an ordinary world.
You can buy the book here. It's being published 5 May 2022.