SLUMMY MUMMY by Fiona Neill


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Bored North London housewife uses flirtation and alcohol to liven things up, in U.K. journalist Neill’s debut.

Lucy Sweeney is in a rut. Staying home to care for her three young boys has all but sucked the life out of the once-creative television producer. To keep things interesting, Lucy maintains a constant level of chaos in her home. School projects are slapped together at the last moment, laundry piles up for months and pet hamsters run wild. In addition to horrid housekeeping skills, Lucy also maintains £10,000 of credit card debt and has a tenuous relationship with her oft-traveling husband. Rather than set her life in order, Lucy gets overly involved in school politics to battle the monotony of school runs and soiled nappies. Playground politics offer Lucy plenty of opportunity to land herself in more trouble. She harbors two crushes: one on a man referred to as “Sexy Domesticated Dad” and the other on the impeccably dressed and impossibly slim mother of four (aka Yummy Mummy No. 1). The girl-crush is relatively harmless; Lucy is jealous of Yummy Mummy’s ability to be prompt and properly accessorized at all times. As far as the Sexy Domesticated Dad, her interest is potentially hazardous and purely sexual. SDD reciprocates her feelings, and an affair becomes a very real possibility. Things in Lucy’s world are ready to implode as she endures a classic midlife crisis. In an effort to maintain her sanity and connection to the “real” world, Lucy sneaks off for drinks with her single girlfriends. But her single pals only serve to further complicate Lucy’s messy affairs. She can’t resist meddling in the love lives of others. Neill is a sound writer adroitly producing spot-on dialog and a few hilarious moments of Mummy-mayhem. But while she attempts fresh twists, readers will eventually suffer from disappointment by the too-familiar plot.

From the maternal self-doubt to the spoiled supporting characters, everything feels mass-manufactured.

Pub Date: July 5th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59448-944-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2007