I swore that only Marcie Steele would find her way onto my CrimeBookJunkie blog…but my Guest Reviewer, Claire Knight, convinced me to include another #BookOutureNonCrimeBabe in the mix! Looks like a good read, #bookjunkies! Here are Claire’s thoughts on the lovely Christie Barlow’s book The Misadventure Of A Playground Mother!
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…
Claire’s Rating: 4.5/5
Normally I read solely crime and thrillers but after finishing Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre at the end of 12 days off work and 5 books read, I didn’t want to read. I’d lost my mojo. On the fourth day I felt something was amiss with not reading for that time and a good friend, Sarah Hardy of By The Letter Book Reviews suggested a change of genre might what I need. Remembering I had one of Christie Barlow’s books sat on my kindle, I decided to give it a try! So glad I did, I devoured it in less than 24 hours and I think my mojo had returned!
I knew exactly what the author was talking about as I read Misadventures; I’ve been there with a stinking hangover dealing with the kids, school’s constant reminders about nits and the “school trip voluntary contributions” – Barlow puts it perfectly “We all knew voluntary doesn’t mean voluntary…”
The characters are those you expect to meet in life, if not in the playground. Penelope is the epitome of that friend we all have who takes and doesn’t give, the one who thinks they can get away with it. And we all have that friend Melanie, a chance meeting that turns into a firm friendship with no agenda other than all the things that come with that sort of relationship – #blogsquad I’m looking at you guys!!
One part of the book really stood out for me for the comedy value, the frisky-pensioner’s funeral. Yes funerals are no laughing matter but when you read the description “Human rhubarb and custard” and the crematorium puts possibly the most apt but rather inappropriate rock song on as the casket is taken away, you have to laugh!!
Christie Barlow definitely knows how to write a light-hearted entertaining read. Even though it is marketed as chick lit and there is romance interwoven into some of the story threads, it’s certainly not a romance novel which in my mind (rightly or wrongly) is what I expect chick lit to be.
I’ll be reading more from Christie Barlow, well I had promised myself earlier this year that I would explore the authors on Bookouture’s books who didn’t write crime. If Christie’s book is anything to go by, I’ll have plenty of authors to try when I need some light relief from the dark side of crime and thrillers.
Awesome review, Claire! Looks like a great #EscapeRead from crime! Click the link below to grab a copy peeps!
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