Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A **** – Gill Sims

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****! Hardcover  by

When I was asked if I wanted to review Gill Sims new book Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A **** I simply could not refuse. Gill is one of my favourite authors who gives a real-life experience in what it is really like to raise children.

We return back to Ellen’s life with her husband and two children Jane and Peter and the next instalment of their life. Life has significantly changed for everyone and the dream Ellen had seemed to be fading into the distance. Ellen now has bigger issues to deal with and that is her children becoming teenagers and having to deal with their issues and Ellen trying to work out what on earth is going on with her life. She is used as a cook and driver for her children and basically as a maid. This is my life in the future. My two children are only two and three but at present eat me out of house and home – so I am dreading the teenage years and Gills writing certainly gave me a glimpse into my life into the future.

“In those dark days when they were babies and toddlers, I never thought they’d grow up. I thought they’d be little forever, and God knows, some of those long, long days certainly felt like forever. But all of a sudden they went and grew up when I was not looking.”

What I most adore about Gill’s books is the honesty, life is hard and does not sugar coat the issues that we all go through whereas others paint their lives as being perfect – guess what they are probably not. Ellen is such a relatable, likeable character who I just want to befriend and have a few gin and tonics with. I could relate to the loneliness and the feeling that you are on your own and you just need to get on with on your own as you cannot rely on anyone else.
Ellen is just an amazing woman, mother and friend. She is trying to gasp her own identity, not just being a mother, you can see that she is becoming Ellen a real-life person. I think I have more steps to go before I get my identity back, but hope to get there soon.

Jane and Peter well what can I say about their characters, they are teenagers, so every day they change one minute your embarrassing, they hate you, love you or just need you to drive them somewhere or feed them. You go through a wide range of emotions with both children, but what I felt about them was there love for Ellen it was at times very discreet – but, it was there.

Gill continues with her series of Why Mummy Doesn’t…. don’t worry you do not have to have read her previous books, but my advice is to read them because they are belly laughing funny and are the early years of becoming a parent and you follow Ellen’s life.
I would recommend all of Gill Sims books.

Family begins with a capital eff

I’m wondering how many more f*cking ‘phases’ I have to endure before my children become civilized and functioning members of society? It seems like people have been telling me ‘it’s just a phase!’ for the last fifteen bloody years. Not sleeping through the night is ‘just a phase’. Potty training and the associated accidents ‘is just a phase’. The tantrums of the terrible twos are ‘just a phase’. The picky eating, the back chat, the obsessions. The toddler refusals to nap, the teenage inability to leave their beds before 1pm without a rocket being put up their arse. The endless singing of Frozen songs, the dabbing, the weeks when apparently making them wear pants was akin to child torture. All ‘just phases!’. When do the ‘phases’ end though? WHEN?

Mummy dreams of a quirky rural cottage with roses around the door and chatty chickens in the garden. Life, as ever is not going quite as she planned. Paxo, Oxo and Bistro turn out to be highly rambunctious, rather than merely chatty, and the roses have jaggy thorns. Her precious moppets are now giant teenagers, and instead of wittering at her about who would win in a fight – a dragon badger or a ninja horse – they are Snapchatting the night away, stropping around the tiny cottage and communicating mainly in grunts – except when they are demanding Ellen provides taxi services in the small hours. And there is never, but never, any milk in the house. At least the one thing they can all agree on is that rescued Barry the Wolfdog may indeed be The Ugliest Dog in the World, but he is also the loveliest.

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a **** is published by Harper Collins

Other books available in the series

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why-mummy-drinks-the-journal

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All That Impossible Space – Anna Morgan

Since moving to Australia, I have been looking into reading as many different Australian writers from both adult and YA, and I am pleased that I was introduced to Anna’s writing as All That Impossible Space did not disappoint.

During the book we follow two stories, which run parallel to one another one now and the other in 1948. Lara is a young person who is doing her best to try and survive school and just being a young person and the dilemmas that brings. She is given a history project to looking into the Somerton Man mystery which to this day has never been solved. It happens that I live quite near to Somerton Beach so had to take a look for myself.

Anna tells the story of the mystery surrounding the death of a mystery man on Somerton Beach, Adelaide. This man had no identity, the labels were cut out of his clothes and he was found in a three piece suit on a beach. The police spend a lot of time and efforts to try and reunite him with his family or friends, however, nothing is forthcoming. From talking to some of the local residents, this mystery still is continues, one resident says that there were rumours that he was a time traveler and others just were interested in what I knew about the mystery. I just referred them to the amazing book Anna has written.

Mr Grant who was Lara’s history teacher gave her this special assignment and seemed to be spending more time with Lara around this mystery. Mr Grant is a mystery himself, which leads to Lara thinking about a range of conspiracy theories not only about the Somerton Mystery but Mr Grant. Mr Grant initially appears to be a “cool” teacher who has a passion for History which he just wants to share with his pupils.

“History is like a map to the past, but it’s a map that hasn’t been filled in, a map with lots of gaps in it. It’s about the gaps between all the things we know, and what happens when we try to fill those gaps. That’s where the magic happens. Because some of those mysteries of the past can never be solved – unless you can prove me wrong.”

During the book, we also have to deal with Lara’s friend Ash. She is apparently Lara’s best friend. I found her a distasteful and controlling bully who seemed to almost hold Lara to ransom because she helped her out once. Lara is just a young woman who is trying to be a good friend with no motive she just wants a companion. She seems to find that in Kate, who moves the area. Initially, you get the impression Kate is a bit strange, but what Lara finds out is that Kate is trying to be good friend, providing support and guidance and simply being their when Lara needs her the most. What you see evolving throughout the novel, is Lara learning what a friend means. It is an incredibly powerful moment, when you can see Lara starting to learn what really makes a good friend and it is okay to challenge people’s behaviours, yes it may be uncomfortable to start with, but it will make you feel so much better in the long run.

You sense Lara’s loss with her sister, Hannah travelling, and only communicating via a postcard every now and then. Lara continued to communicate with Hannah, by leaving her emails, she did not respond back. I felt the silence from Hannah was difficult for Lara, I felt that during this time Lara really needed her big sister support and guidance even if it was a few words it did not have to be in her presence. Lara seemed to understand that perhaps her sister was going through her own issues and needed some time away to get her head around the big wide world. Lara’s maturity and love for her sister was such that she seemed to respect her sisters needs, but you still felt her longing to have some sort of communication as she cherished the postcards that were sent. You could feel Lara’s heart filling up with joy when she had the postcards, but was desperate to respond and ask questions about life, and moving into the scary world of being and adult.

All That Impossible Space is a beautiful journal of friendship, the good, bad and ugly and truly reflects the dilemmas young people go through every day mixed with a historical mystery which leaves you asking questions. This novel is a love letter for what a true friendship is and what a toxic friendship is and gives you permission to deal with the toxicity in relationships. What an amazing debut novel, Anna had a magical touch in her writing when exploring relationships and the thought processes young people go through as well as dealing with the other complexities in their lives. Anna gives young people a voice, one so loud it makes adults sit up and listen. I was left wanting to help Lara solve this mystery, but came to realise that at times mysteries just remain that.

Anna Morgan is an author to watch.

About the Book

How do you solve a 70-year-old mystery when you can’t even figure out your own life?

Lara Laylor is doing her best to navigate the mysteries of Year 10; boys, enigmatic new students, and a drama queen friend who always takes centre stage.

When new history teacher Mr Grant gives her a special assignment to investigate the Somerton Man mystery, Lara finally starts to feel like she’s standing in the spotlight. Found dead on an Adelaide beach in 1948, the labels cut out of his clothes, the Somerton Man has intrigued people for years. Was he a spy? A criminal?

And then Mr Grant goes missing…..and Lara is convinced that his disappearance is part of a wider conspiracy. Has her obsession with the Somerton Man developed her powers of deduction? Or is Lara being led into a mystery darker than even she expects?

About The Author

Anna Morgan was born in Sydney, but spent most of her childhood surrounded by mountains in Nepal and Tibet while her parents were part of an international community of health professionals. Navigating this cross-cultural life made her curious observer of people, although most of her time was spent reading Enid Blyton and dreaming of going to boarding school. This did not cushion the shock of shifting from home-school in Tibet to an all-girls high school in Melbourne when her family returned to Australia. All That Impossible Space explores some of the intense and convoluted friendships that thrive in this setting. Anna completed a MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University in 2015, and now lives in Melbourne with her husband. She works as a bookseller.

Other Information 

Author Links
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amorgs/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/annalauramorgan
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18991287.Anna_Morgan

Bank Holiday Reads June 2019

In Australia this weekend has been a bank holiday, which to be honest does not mean much to me with being a stay at home mother. I end up doing the same stuff pretty much everyday. However, this weekend I have made a conscious effort to read a bit more as I have been to the local library and reserved a lot of books recently which I am desperate to read.

I have managed to get through a couple of books, and I am in the process of writing reviews for all of them which will be on the blog shortly.

Dyschronia

The first book I read was Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills.

One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake up to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet? Does she have a disorder that alters her perception of time? Or is she a gifted and compulsive liar?

Oscillating between the future and the past, Dyschronia is a novel that tantalizes and dazzles as one woman’s prescient nightmares become entangled with her town’s uncertain fate.

Margaret the First

The next book I managed to get through was a short book Margaret The First by Danielle Dutton.

While Margaret Cavendish addressed the Royal Society in 1667, Samuel Pepys recorded that her dress was so antic and her department is unordinary that ‘I do not like her at all’. And indeed, here vividly brought to life by Danielle Dutton, the shy, gifted and wildly unconventional duchess is wholly ‘unordinary’ and all the better for it.

Exiled to Paris at the start of the English Civil War, Margaret Meets and marries William Cavendish and, with his encouragement begins publishing volumes of poetry and philosophy, which soon becomes the talk of London. After the Restoration, upon their return to England, Margaret’s infamy grows. She causes controversy wherever she goes, once attending the theatre with breasts bared, and earns herself the nickname ‘Mad Madge’.

Yet while scorned by many, to others Margaret is a visionary, and to later readers including Virginia Woolf – she was an early precursor of feminism. She was the first woman invited to the Royal Society – and the last for 200 years – and the first English woman to write explicitly for publication. Unjustly neglected by history, Margaret The First – as she styled herself – was a bright, shining paradox.

The Lucky Galah - Tracy Sorensen

The third book I read was The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen.

It’s 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is posed to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish; a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare transfixed, at the moving images on the console – although his glossy young wife, Linda seems distracted. Meanwhile the people of Port Badminton have gathered to watch Armstrong’s small step on a single television sitting centre stage in the old theatre. The Kelly family, a crop of redheads, sit in rare silence. Roo shooters at the back of the hall squint through their rifle sights to see the tiny screen.

I’m in my cage on the Kelly’s back verandah. I sit here, unheard, underestimated, biscuit crumbs on my beak. But fate is a curious thing. For just as Evan Johnson’s story is about to end, (and perhaps with a giant leap), mystery prepares to take flight.

A full review of these three books will be on the blog shortly.