After a year of country living, Rachel Young is finally getting into the swing of things. Her four kids are happy and content at the village school, and she’s managed to navigate the choppy (shark-infested) waters of the playground mafia.
Or… so she thought.
When playground mum Penelope Kensington moves herself and her kids into Rachel’s home, after discovering husband Rupert has been having an affair, Rachel knows she must ask them politely to leave. The problem is, Penelope never takes no for an answer.
As Rachel tries to deal with Penelope, she also meets new school mum Melanie. Melanie is a breath of fresh air, but her arrival sends ripples of gossip through the playground. Melanie has a few secrets in her closet, and it seems she’s not the only one…
Author: Christie Barlow
Title: The Misadventures of a Playground Mother
Publication Date: 11th September 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon US: Amazon
Before I started reading this book to review on netgalley I decided that I would really like to read 'A Year in the life of a Playground Mother' first to pick up on the background of the story, so I bought it and read it quickly as it is very fast paced. I could really relate to the stories of the other mothers in the playground having their cliques and making other mums feel uncomfortable and could so understand why Rachel wanted to move away with her family to escape to the country.
However she soon discovers that every school has the same scenario with competitive mums and there really is no escape from it. I found the first book enjoyable but the character of Penelope drove me mad as she was just so irritating, the main character, Rachel, was simply too nice to her and Penelope took advantage at every opportunity to the point where she took over Rachel's life. This is a great skill when a writer can make you fall in love with someone or hate someone as great writing should stir up emotions in the reader. I found myself contorting my face in annoyance during some parts of the book.
I loved the idea of Rachel saving seats on the imaginary bus for people she didn't like and especially how easily she could fill up the seats.
Although I did enjoy the first book I thoroughly enjoyed the second. The characters had all settled in nicely and there was more of a relaxed feeling to the story. Penelope was still, if not more irritating especially on the holiday, I was relieved when Rupert put his foot down in the end as I was so annoyed with him and his wife.
I think Rachel was in some ways just really longing for friendship which is why she put up with Penelope's antics for so long so it was good when she started to form real friendships with new characters Melanie and Sue as they allowed Rachel's personality to blossom as it had been swamped by the awful Penelope. They also provided much more stability and positivity to Rachel's life when everybody else turned their backs on her, I was pleased she managed to find real friends as she was definitely going to need them for the devastation to come. I have to say though Penelope does get her come-uppance in an absolutely hilarious manner as does the pervy next door neighbour Risky Pensioner who was after more than Rachel's eggs. I did feel a little sorry for Rachel's husband Matt as he did seem a bit neglected by her, yet he was her rock.
There were lots of laugh out loud moments in the book and a very true depiction of the behaviour of some playground mums. However, as in real life the unexpected happens and Rachel and her family are in for a huge shock. I can't wait to read the next book to find out what happens.
Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and Christie for the review copy.
Book Angel x
About the Author
Christie Barlow the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother decided to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. She is just a Mum who wrote a book to prove to her children whatever you want to do in life go for it. The book she wrote to prove a point is now an Amazon #1 bestseller in the UK and USA.