I've heard of Yummy Mummies and Slummy Mummies but I couldn't help but laugh out loud when Peta, the central character in Ericka Waller's Confessions of a Mother Inferior, reveals that she is a "Looks Like A Camel-Testicle" Tummy Mummy ! The tone is set for the rest of the book.
Peta is a mum of three totally lovable, boisterous and slightly eccentric under fives. She's far from perfect and finds it hard to fit in with the well-groomed mums in their Boden twinsets at the school gates. She also finds it hard to come to terms with the sudden death of her best friend Sara a few years ago. I did find the start of the book a bit muddled as it crashes from laugh-out-loud anecdotes of Peta's teenage years and family life to a heart-rending account of watching her best friend drop dead at her feet - but then I decided that that is just what being a mum is all about, juggling kids, jobs and personal trauma in a crazy whirlwind of emotions and activity on a daily basis.
Just like one of my favourite authors Kathy Lette, Ericka Waller manages to tap into the ridiculous humour of everyday life as a mum. You probably have to be a parent to really appreciate it but it had me grinning on numerous occasions as I slightly guiltily recognised myself in Peta ! Pooing in public, accidentally killing the class pet, cringeworthy school play performances - it's all there and it will all make you feel much better about your own parental failings, which will seem minute in comparison !
As if she didn't already have enough on her plate with her unruly offspring, Peta also has growing suspicions that her husband is cheating on her. I did want to scream at her to just sit down and talk to him rather than drive herself slowly insane wondering what is going on, and I did also guess exactly where the book was going long before I got to the end, but it's a light-hearted, enjoyable read that has its fair share of poignant moments too. It could have done with a good proof-read before being printed because there are quite a few missed words or jumbled up sentences that could easily have been rectified, but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of reading.
I was slightly apprehensive about picking up the book when I learnt that Ericka Waller is a blogger. I have nothing against bloggers, obviously, as I am one, but I see a surprising number of bloggers who seem to think, quite wrongly in my opinion, that being a blogger and being able to write a good novel are the same thing. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised though and I've also now headed over to the Mum In The South blog to find out if the real Ericka Waller (also a mum of three) is just as funny and endearing as Peta !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £8.99
Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.