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Mummydaddy (The Pan Real Lives Series) Paperback – Unabridged, 1 Feb 2012
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`This honest, beautifully expressed memoir relates Jeremy Howe's shock and grief, but beyond that it evokes fierce parental devotion, a remarkable understanding of small children and a grittiness that will chime with anybody who has experienced, or fears, such a calamity'
--Mail on Sunday
When your children lose their mother can you even try to take her place?See all Product description
Top customer reviews
His sense of feeling useless at cooking .. being unable to see just what a fanastic job he was doing with his daughters
I really felt for him when he was so a loss as to what to do at the school gates.. he stuck out like a sore thumb . Without the support of the family and friends.. many of whom just were there for him when he needed them,, he used them, ( who wouldnt ? ) things would have been so much more difficult . I cried a few tears but its an up lifting book and I dont think Im spoiling it for anyone when I write that they do get through it as a family.
There are no 'grisly' details of the murder included in the book - and this makes the emotional impact of reading what Mr Howe and his daughters survived more powerful. I was very grateful to be able to be cuddling my little girl while reading parts of their story (well, she was watching a Playschool DVD & I was reading ..:o)
The book was very well written, true to life and extremely emotional in parts - this is a fantastic testament to Mr Howe in his determination to overcome adversity, and to bring up his children to be normal, well balanced individuals.
But I trust my parents' recommendations and both said that Mummydaddy was worth a read, so read it I did. In fact, I read it in less than three days - it's not a long or difficult read. It's also surprisingly uplifting.
Mummydaddy is written by Jeremy Howe, some twenty years after the random and brutal murder of his academic wife in York, where she was lecturing at a summer school. It is of course the story of Jeremy learning to live without his wife, but more than that it is the story of him learning to be a single parent to two girls - aged only four and six when they lost their mum. What I liked about Jeremy's story is that he does not dwell on the gory details (as those writers that I think cater to more voyeuristic readers do) - sections of the book that refer to the murder and the trial are predominantly matter-of-fact narratives. The focus, and the emotional pull, of the story is Jeremy's evolving relationship with his daughters. There are some heartwrenching moments, but there are just as many heartwarming moments, and even some funny ones.
It is also organised only loosely chronologically, and in part thematically. I think this helps keep it from being too heavygoing - this is not Jeremy's account of how he found his way out of grief (although he does reference his journey through the various stages of grief). Some reviewers on Amazon express disappointment or annoyance that Jeremy doesn't mention anything about subsequent relationships until the final few pages; they feel cheated, that knowing whether he was alone or with somebody at various points in the memoir would have changed how they responded to it. For me, those people have missed the point. This isn't Jeremy's story, it's Daddy's story and it's Jessica and Lucy's story. It's about his relationship to them, and their relationship to each other - not his relationship to girlfriends. It's not even about his relationship to Lizzie, not really. I think it's quite an achievement that Jeremy Howe has written a book that begins with the devastating loss of his wife, in which that loss becomes almost, bizarrely, incidental.