When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha Mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep.
Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts ‘The Beta Mum’, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha Mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha Mums?
What I Thought:
No-one likes to admit that they might be part of a clique, but invariably mums – and it does always seem to be the mums, the dads just seem to get on with it – on the school run do tend to fall into types and groups. The Beta Mum shines a light onto one of those groups, and a woman desperately trying to fit into it but it (thankfully) is free of a lot of the snark that seems to go with modern parenting. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good snark now and again, but it seems to me that too much of what goes on on the Internet is designed at throwing shade on people who don’t parent the way you do. This book, less so.
The Beta Mum is definitely made by Sophie herself – she’s a mum who has found herself in completely new surroundings and is trying the best she can to fit in, so that her child fits in and, ultimately, isn’t that what we are all trying to do as parents, despite feeling like the spotty teenagers we once were?? She casts a witty and observant eye on the proceedings at her exclusive pre-school and turns them into a blog that she thinks no-one will read. The trouble starts when she is discovered!
The Alpha Mums that inhabit Alphaland are caricatures, but their traits are instantly recognisable. They are also shown to have a more human side towards the end of the novel, which is what sets this apart – it dares to suggest that even the most cartoonish of playground characters is, deep-down, as flawed as the rest of us.
This book is a light and funny read and definitely worth fitting into those five spare minutes every day that mums have!
The Beta Mum was published in August 2017. For more information on the book, and Isabella Davidson, check out the Notting Hill Yummy Mummy Blog, which she also writes.
Please Note: I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are, as ever, my own.