The top blog post for August here on My Chestnut Reading Tree is also my top blog post of 2016! I had a HUGE reaction to my review of The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley and even now no other review has got anywhere near the amount of views or likes of this one. And it was lovely to have feedback from other busy bloggers who say that they may have passed on this one if it hadn’t been for my rave review-and thankfully they all loved it too! So I’m excited to share it again with you all today!
About this book…
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.
Sometimes a book comes along that you hadn’t expected, a book that you probably would never have picked up if you were browsing in a bookshop (virtual or otherwise!) But after a few pages you actually say a little “thank you” in your head to whoever recommended it. And to think I nearly missed out on it as I had just closed my review list for the summer but this books blurb intrigued me so much that it sneaked in at the last minute! After reading the first chapter I just wanted to hide myself away from the world and devour every single word of this wonderful book. Of all the books I have read recently, this is the book that I would have loved to have written myself. It’s dark humour and handling of mental health issues combined to make this a hidden gem of a book and one I want to shout about from the rooftops!
At the heart of this book is the relationship between mothers and daughters but essentially, Drea isn’t even Ava’s mother! But after Drea’s partner Alex leaves her, he also leaves his 14 year old daughter whom Drea has brought up for the last 10 years. Unable to afford the fees for the private school Ava attends, Drea looks for ways to raise the money but unfortunately, her way isn’t exactly legal (okay it’s actually totally illegal!! But I was rooting for her so sort of overlooked that small fact!)
The suburb of Gatlin is brought to life so well, from the descriptions of the posh shops, to the schools and the eclectic mix of patients at the local GP surgery. Such a coming together of yummy mummys, who’s children can do no wrong and are booked into extracurricular activities from leaving the womb, was always going to be explosive but Drea is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the way she parents. Unfortunately, it’s the underlying causes that bring a dark and disturbing element to her character as we find out the further we delve into her family life.
There are some hilarious highlights within this book-the bake sale (“that’s not a cake”), Papa and his love of “movies” and Abigail In The Morning who would give Jeremy Vine a run for his money! But these darkly humorous observations masks a huge part of Drea. We alone are able to watch her taking the path she thinks is her destiny in life whilst she gives us little glimpses into what is actually pushing her along that devastating road.
As you can probably tell, I absolutely loved this brilliant book! It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it is one that will stick in my mind for quite some time to come. Anoushka Beazley deserves a much larger audience for this debut novel and I am so looking forward to seeing where she goes from here. Just fabulous from start to finish!
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for my unbiased review.
The Good Enough Mother is available to purchase now from Amazon UK.