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The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy Paperback – 31 Jan 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (31 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099502887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099502883
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"This slice of angst and affluenza is several cuts above the rest ... witty, observant and supremely intelligent" (The Times)

"There is something of Bridget Jones's hopeless-but-adorable quality about Lucy ... Neill's hilarious depiction of the manifold daily perils of stay-at-home motherhood is so convincing that it soon looks like the most challenging job in the world - and Lucy is all the more sympathetic simply for staying afloat" (Daily Telegraph)

"If you're struggling to find your own inner yummy mummy, this is for you. After a few pages you'll want to make heroine Lucy Sweeney your best mate as her trials and tribulations wash away your own troubles" (Woman)

"Above the usual class of post-baby fiction...an intelligent and funny look at modern parenting" (Eve)

"This will have you laughing out loud with empathy" (Star Magazine)

Book Description

From the hugely popular Times columnist, her Sunday Times bestselling debut novel about modern motherhood.

'Hilarious ... a literary phenomenon to rival Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's

Diary and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It ... Plays with the

chaos and comedy of 30-something metropolitan maternity and brings it to an

unexpectedly moving conclusion.' - Anna Wintour, Vogue


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mel on 20 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I also bought this book on the basis of the Times column, despite not being a Mum myself and not liking chick-lit, but the column always makes me laugh and the book didn't disappoint either. It is laugh out loud funny and keeps you giggling thinking about some passages ages after. The characters are great, which is partly why it is so hard to put down. A fantastic beach read for the Summer, there's already a waiting list to borrow my copy!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Bundy VINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having enjoyed Fiona Neill's 'Slummy Mummy' column in The Times I was interested to see how she could sustain a whole novel.

By and large she succeeds, and has given us a delightful piece of 'chick lit' set in the school playgrounds and coffee shops of North London. All the characters from her column are on display here and she has taken time to expand on people and relationships where necessary.

The book centres around Lucy, Tom and their three alarmingly likable boys, and the safe secure middle class existence that must have an Aga at the heart of it! However, throw in Lucy's unmarried girlfriends with their, oh so, exciting single sex lives, Tom's mother's last chance at happiness and Lucy's self doubt and you have a pretty good read. It is basically a series of comic instances held together by one or two ongoing threads that do culminate in a satisfying if predictable ending. It does feels episodic at times but that is only to be expected from a novel that grew from a weekly item in a newspaper.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and there were one or two passages about childhood and relationships that actually made me stop and think and realise that Fiona Neill has the potential to write beyond 'chick lit'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bavarian Kate on 10 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Luckily I bought this 2nd hand.

It's not often I don't finish a book, but I am beginning to wonder on this one. I was looking for something light and easy going that I might be able to relate to (being in that full time mother place for the moment). The trouble is, half way through the book I just don't care about the 'heroine', I am not interested in what she'll do next and turning the pages is becoming a real chore. I am an avid reader but this just isn't worth my time.

To be fair, there are a few very funny, spot on observations but no where near enough to make into a good read.

Any comparison with Bridget Jones is totally unjustified.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SilentSinger TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 July 2009
Format: Paperback
This book had me gripped from the outset as it's a story about a woman grappling with the problems surrounding motherhood and family life. Lucy Sweeney, a former Newsnight producer, now living in fashionable north London pad and having to deal with three young boys, an architect husband, friends with dysfunctional lovelives and the cut and thrust of classroom politics. Lucy's school run and fantasty life is made more interesting by the prescence of 'Sexy Domesticated Dad' and 'Celebrity Dad' who both find her scattiness and sense of humour alluring.

In many ways this is your typical MumLit stuff, but it's so well written and compelling that it's well worth a read. There are some anomolies - why do all husbands/partners in MumLit work as architects? Surely North London would be over-run by this profession if this was the case? Also, although she's clearly an amusing woman, why do two men fall for Lucy's charms? There's also the ending which dissolves into some kind of dream-like farce, which is a little disappointing. That being said, it's a very readable book and there are some true to live comments which will have you howling with laughter, such as when Lucy's kicked out of the Munchkin singing group and when she runs through every kind of fish on the market to try to remember SDD's proper name.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Florence on 18 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this well written and funny book until the last 50 pages which were dreadful. It felt like the author was trying to tie up all the loose ends at once with a farsical scene that I honestly thought was a dream that Lucy was going to wake up from! It had a rushed and unconvincing conclusion which was a shame. "Notting Hell" by Rachel Johnson is far better.
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Format: Paperback
The long running Slummy Mummy column in the Saturday Times Magazine always makes me laugh, so when I saw this I thought I'd give it a go. Sadly, for me it provided proof that what's good for a five minute chuckle over breakfast on a Saturday morning isn't necessarily good for a 400 page book.

Anyone who's read the column will be familiar with the basic idea. The heroine, Lucy, is a disorganised mother of three struggling to cope with the glamorous/high achieving/neurotic mothers at her sons' school. The book is at it's best when it sticks to the same sort of ground as the column and gently mocks middle class motherhood. Some of these moments were very amusing but sadly, were a bit too few and far between, lost in the midst of a flimsy plot regarding whether Lucy was going to have an affair with one of the fathers and the love life of her best friends. Some of the deeper musings on the nature of motherhood and children versus careers and Lucy's reminiscing about earlier parts of her lifejust didn't grab me and felt a bit out of place, and were even weirdly depressing in parts. Lots of the characters that I recognised from the column - Yummy Mummy Number 1 and Sexy Domesticated Dad in particular, seemed to lose rather than gain something be the author's attempts to make them more three-dimensional and less like amusing stereotypes.

I should probably point out that as I'm in my mid-twenties and don't have kids, I probably didn't get the full "I can so identify with this" effect that someone in a similar position to the heroine might have done, but I've read a couple of similar books ("The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy" being the most obvious) and not really found that to be a problem, neither have I found that this had ever detracted from my enjoyment of the column.
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