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The Stepmothers' Support Group [Kindle Edition]

Sam Baker
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

You can’t choose your family – but you can choose your friends… A heartfelt, warm and truthful novel about female friendship.

Eve has never imagined herself as a stepmother. But when she falls in love with Ian, he comes with a ready-made family of three children. And, to make matters worse, he's a widower. The ghost of his glamorous and well known wife haunts them.

Clare, a teacher and single mother, is Eve's best friend. She is the only person Eve can talk to about how on earth a journalist in her thirties can win round three wary children. But despite Clare's years of practice with her own teenage daughter, it's Lily ,her younger sister, who provides the truly sympathetic ear.

Mel is sent along to Eve's so-called 'support group' by a colleague. With a fledgling relationship and a new business to get off the ground, she has a very different set of pressures to the other women.

And Mandy is the stay-at-home mum, whose relationship comes with stepchildren, and who wants more than anything to stitch together a happy family life for herself, her kids and her new step-kids.

As a cup of coffee turns to a bottle of wine and the get-togethers become a regular fixture, conversations about new families evolve into ones about relationships, life and each woman’s deepest hopes and dreams. But the friendship is tested and feelings about lovers, husbands and step-children challenged when the five women are forced to confront new futures as well as unwelcome figures from the past…

Product Description


'Sometimes, a book can be such a brilliant idea you can't believe no one has done it before… Stepmothers, stepfathers, stepchildren: all will find amusement and comfort in its pages.' Nigella Lawson

'This funny, touching novel by Red's editor is The First Wives Club meets Sex And The City - with stepchildren… Fast paced and unexpectedly moving.' Red

'The narrative is well thought out with a great plot and likeable characters. Writing from the point of view of the Wicked Stepmother makes for an interesting and different read.' Daily Mail

'In this feisty female-support fiction, each of her group of five women - Eve, Clare, Mel, Mandy and Chloe - has her own way of managing the complexities of 21st-century family life - living with the ghosts of dead wives, looking after the little ones, and nursing the big ones' egos.' Good Housekeeping

'This hilarious novel addresses an inevitable question for step-parents: what if you din't get on with your partner's children?' Hot Stars (OK!)

'A great read with characters you can sympathise with.' Woman

'Her cracking novel is a stylish tale about what to do when you love him but don't love his kids. Rather cleverly she lays the old myth of the wicked stepmother to rest, or so we hope. Either way it's a super-sassy read.' The Lady

'Baker charts the lives of four very different women, each embroiled in a family crisis, offering us a compelling, honest and moving view of motherhood, in all forms' Psychologies

About the Author

Born in Hampshire, Sam Baker studied politics at Birmingham University. Sam has edited some of the UK’s biggest magazines. After successfully re-launching teenage magazine Just Seventeen as J-17, she spent five years as editor of Company. She was also editor of Cosmopolitan in the UK and is now editor-in-chief of Red. She lives between Winchester, Hampshire and central London with her husband and grown-up stepson.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 542 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061840351
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (20 Aug. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9TDW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,240 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Hampshire, Sam Baker studied politics at Birmingham University. She has been editor of Just Seventeen, Minx, Company and Cosmopolitan in the UK, and is now editor-in-chief of Red. She lives between Winchester, Hampshire and central London with her husband, the novelist Jon Courtenay Grimwood, and has one step-son.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new look at relationships 19 Aug. 2009
I wasn't expecting this to make me take such a hard look at my own life, but it did. I've always said I'd love to meet a nice divorcee with kids - this has made me realise it's not so straightforward after all. Not only will you be gripped by the story, but you'll be moved by the emotional issues that are raised. And by the last page, you'll realise that your female friends are the people who will see you through everything.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, memorable read 26 Aug. 2009
Now, this is perhaps not the best recommendation for this book because Sam Baker is the editor of Red magazine and I write regularly for Red magazine. So I am hardly likely to slam The Stepmothers' Support Group. Disclaimers aside, though, this is a brilliant example of the best kind of chick lit: the writing is thoughtful, funny and clever. The characters remind you of people you know (in my case, most of all, Eve, a sniffy journalist who is not remotely amused by her new boyfriend's three children). Best of all, there is nothing sickly sweet about the relationships and Baker is not afraid to engage with the idea that it's possible - especially as a step-parent - to love and hate a child at the same time. The whole project is reminiscent of a London-based, modern version of Olivia Goldsmith's First Wives' Club with shades of Bridget Jones, Sex and the City and the Devil Wears Prada thrown in. But in a good way. If it's not too gushy to say it, this book kind of restored my faith in chick lit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stepmothers' support group 25 Oct. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story is about how five women bond and support one another during the trials and tribulations of their experiences as step mothers, potential step mothers and as a single parent.

The book focuses primarily on Eve, her relationship with Ian and his three children. As the couple decide to progress their relationship things don't always go smoothly for Eve.

Eve has always relied on her long-time friend, Clare a single mother, for help and support. However, when Clare needs a shoulder to cry Eve isn't always there to reciprocate. Luckily the other ladies in the support group, Lily, Melanie and Mandy are there to lend an ear at their monthly coffee, chat and support evenings.

Anyone who has become a step mother will undoubtedly recognise many of the issues and problems that Sam Baker raises in the book. From the adoration so easily given by the youngest child to the resentment, antagonism and outright rude behaviour from Hannah, Ian's 12 year old daughter. Sam tackles these issues sensitively and really hones in on the tensions and difficulties that can be created in what was an otherwise strong relationship between two adults.

I did feel that Eve often came over as unsympathetic towards Hannah and her needs. Although never having been in that situation myself maybe her reactions to Hannah and her tantrums were justified.

I thought that Clare was an amazing character and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her story. My heart went out to her when Will, who rejected her as a teenager after finding out about her pregnancy, suddenly appeared back in her life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for step-children too! 1 Sept. 2009
I didn't recognise myself in any of the adults in this book - it was the children's characters that resonated most strongly with me.
As the product of a somewhat dysfunctional family, wannabee step-mums came and went throughout my teenage-hood. It was sometimes ugly.
Although the book is primarily about being a stepparent, Baker nails what it's like to be the child of what is more often than not an unhappy situation. By covering all sides of the story, she smoothly gets under the skin of her subject matter - and hooks you in. Clever and infectious, The Stepmothers' Support Group is a great read for everyone involved in the `step' process - and that includes us [grown-up] children. Excellent stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all women - not just stepmothers! 21 Sept. 2009
I loved this book - something which, as someone who's never had to tackle the minefield of stepmotherhood, took me rather by surprise. Yes, Sam Baker gives fascinating insight into the problems associated with loving a man with the ultimate emotional baggage, but at its heart, this book is really about women and friendship. The inter-group issues faced by the female characters will be familiar to any woman with a tight-knit support network of close friends, as will the characters, who defy chick-lit convention by keeping you firmly on their side despite displaying human flaws. A great, cosy and familiar read that manages to enlighten and change your perspective while you're not looking!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not just for stepmothers! 8 Sept. 2009
By meggo
I really loved this book! I did wonder, before I started it, if not being a stepmother might mean I couldn't identify with the characters but no worries! I was immediately engaged by all the female protagonists as they were introduced. The characters are well rounded in themselves and each has her own story which gives a slightly different slant on the topic. Sam Baker explores relationships between mothers and daughters, in-laws, sisters, long-term and new friends as well as steps and blended families and the love stories behind them. The plot is quite intricate, so i won't even go into it, but there is one character whose story is more prominent than the others - I'd actually like to read a sequel that looked at the group of women as they progress but with one or more of the other characters being central. There are moments of real pathos and strong emotion - and the author hasn't shied away from portraying conflict and tension. This makes the denouements - yes, there are several - all the more satisfying. Altogether a great read, and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend - and not just to stepmothers!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read an interesting take on step-families
Published 23 hours ago by deb t
3.0 out of 5 stars Unchallenging and unmeaty.
Predictable and a bit cheesy, but quite sweet all the same. Chewing gum.
Published 4 months ago by Jill Hubbard
5.0 out of 5 stars Multi points of view in this enjoyable and heart-warming story
I bought this book on a whim, as a part-time stepmother who wasn't doing too well with the teenagers, and who had been dumped by one of them anyway. Read more
Published 7 months ago by REO
3.0 out of 5 stars okay..ish
Sorry guys. Not quite gripping story with plenty of loose ends. Difficult to keep track of who was who. Unsatisfying
Published 12 months ago by poppytim
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Credit to amazon and a good service. Cheap, fast, and good packaging will recommend to friends and anyone interested in a good service.
Published 19 months ago by d hartmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Stepmothers support group
This book is fabulous. I laughed, I cried.... couldn't put the book down!!! An Absolute must read! Buy it now!!
Highly Recommended
Published 21 months ago by Cazza Rush
5.0 out of 5 stars For stepmothers everywhere!
Very good chic/choc lit style read, with good, believable characters - it's a great read or stepmothers everywhere - and possibly older stepchildren. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kimberly Sims
5.0 out of 5 stars The stepmothers support group
This is a really good book that I could relate to being a step mother myself. (a yummy one I may add hahahaha)

I can completely understand each and one of the... Read more
Published on 5 Dec. 2012 by m4dru5h
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stepmothers Support Group
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a very honest look at today's complicated relationships with children, step children and so on. Read more
Published on 25 Oct. 2012 by C. Barrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read!
I am not a step mother myself but I read this book from the perspective of a woman, wife, mother and friend. There was a lot to enjoy and a lot for me to relate to. Read more
Published on 1 April 2012 by kate poels
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