Book Review: 'WHY MUMMY DRINKS', by Gill Sims.
The writer of the ‘Peter and Jane’ Facebook page gives the characters their first novel. The book is written in diary format, and is from the point of view of Peter and Jane’s mother, Ellen, as the antics of the 2 youngsters prove to be one of the many things that drive her to drink. As Ellen counts down the days till her 50th birthday, she recounts a bitter-sweet exploration of the challenges of trying to juggle employment with running a family, of parent-child relationships, of the physical and emotional changes a body goes through at that point in one’s life, and ultimately of the pitfalls of marriage and “In-Laws” relations.
The structure of the book does come across as a series of vignettes. And the situations depicted are often extremely surreal. The escapades of the Sister-In-Law’s family, for example, really push the boundaries of belief. And ultimately, there are some serious parenting issues that need to be addressed (constantly swearing and using the F-word in front of your young children, rewarding your young daughter with ice-cream and treats on the way home from being in trouble for fighting at school, etc.). But to really appreciate this book, the authenticity of the scenarios shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Instead, the book should be viewed as a full-on slapstick comedy caper. It is chock-block full of swearing, and infused with mad-cap humour and irony. The section recounting the Christmas Family visit, especially with the introduction of Louisa (the sister-in-law mentioned above) and her family, is absolutely hilarious.
In summary, a funny, well-crafted, modern day family escapade, with enough happening to keep you reading to the end.