I’ve had a bit of a stop-start thing going on with my reading this month; starting books only to abandon them or get fed up of them. I’ve also been dipping in and out of the collected essays of George Orwell, which have been handy when I want a quick read.
Just What Kind Of Mother Are You?- Paula Daly
I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this from Mumsnet and I loved it! It’s not something I might have picked up in a bookshop, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. A psychological thriller that centres around a missing teenage girl and two families falling apart, I read this in about two days (which isn’t easy with a small child and a job.) Also contains one of the greatest phrases I’ve read this year: a really nasty character is described as having a ‘mum bum’. A small observation, but the sort of thing that makes me eagerly await Paula Daly’s next novel.
Why Have Kids?- Jessica Valenti
I’ve always enjoyed Jessica Valenti’s work since I first discovered Feministing a few years back. I find she approaches feminist issues in a no-nonsense, practical and sensible manner that isn’t intimidating or excludes men from her points. In her latest book, she explores Western society’s attitude to parenthood and how mothers are made to feel. Although this is very American in its outlook, I found that as I read this I felt that someone was articulating the things I hadn’t been able to express, particularly about postnatal depression. Also, it was a brilliant book for me to read just as I went back to work.
The Finest Type of English Womanhood- Rachel Heath
This is a fascinating book. It’s a novel that’s really quite hard to describe; it tells the story of Laura who marries Paul and moves to South Africa. However, half of the book is told through the diary of another character, Gay, who also happens to have been a real-life murder victim in the 1940s (the so-called Porthole Murder.) A gripping read.