Book Review: Playgroups and Prosecco by Jo Middleton

January 3rd

Jaffa Cakes – 7. Times I was forced to watch a small child do a dance involving a dusty piece of ribbon found under the sofa – 4. Inappropriate thoughts about Zac Efron – undisclosed. 

Single mum Frankie’s whole life revolves around her kids. But when your toddler has a more active social life, something has to change. Forget ‘me-time’, Frankie would settle for some adult conversation, and watching something other than the Disney channel. 

The local playgroup may be ruled by Instagram mums with perfect husbands but Frankie accidentally forms a splinter group of single parents. After all, Mummy really needs a playdate of her own. (Now pass the prosecco.)

What I Thought:

Anyone who has hung around on enough Mummy Blogs will have heard of Jo Middleton – or as you may know her, Slummy Single Mummy. For many years, Jo has entertained with her tales of life as a single mum, giving us her unique take on recipes, products, the hot issues and loads more but now, in Playgroups and Prosecco, she has turned her hand to fiction, with hilarious results.

Although, as you can imagine, there is a smattering of Jo’s own experience in Frankie’s misadventures, hopefully the author is not as unlucky in love and life as her main character!

The thing about this book is that is so relatable for any parents (see above, answering to the cries of ‘Mum! Mum! Watch! Mum! Watch Me!’) as Frankie, her little family and her friends navigate their way through a tribal playgroup and the magical ‘mum job’ that fits around your kids without having to pay childcare. I firmly related to the use of Jaffa Cakes to break up the boredom of going places purely for your kids!

As with her blog writing, Jo’s fiction writing is light and funny, and it makes Frankie easy to like and commiserate with when her life’s not going so well. The book is written in the style of a diary, so seems like Bridget Jones for the parent (including the copious drinking) and, while the entries vary in length, it’s often the shorter, more exasperated ones that are the funniest.

Having read Jo’s blog for years, getting hold of Playgroups and Prosecco was an easy decision to make and I would happily recommend it. At the time of writing, it’s on Amazon Kindle at the bargain price of only £1.99 – definitely one to grab for the holidays.

I’ve linked to Jo’s blog above, but you can also connect with her on Twitter.

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