Book Review ‘Happy Families’, Janie Fraser

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Bobbie’s children never listen to a word she says. Even worse, her mother has a new boyfriend: the notorious child expert Dr Know, who dishes out hard-line advice to the nation. Could parenting classes control her kids – and save her marriage?  Andy’s wife is due to run a Perfect Parents course at the local school. But when she scarpers, he’s left to look after their two teenage daughters – and face his own childhood demons.  Vanessa has found love, second-time round. But one night, six-year-old Sunshine is deposited on her doorstep with a message from Vanessa’s estranged daughter, ‘Please look after her’. This time she’s determined to get it right.  Can Bobbie, Andy and Vanessa really learn the secret of raising a happy family?

Published by: Arrow, March 2013

Reviewed by: Cheryl Machen

We have all met them at the school gates;  the frazzled mum whose kids are uncontrollable; the perfect mum who is always immaculately turned out with the big home, flash car and the looks of a model (in fact she is a model!), but all is not quite as it seems.
This book follows 3 families Bobby, Andy and Vanessa all living in the suburbs with their young families. They all come together for a parenting group at the local school and see that perhaps their children aren’t so crazy after all.  There’s American Express mum, too many kids mum and not really pregnant mum to compare with after all.
I enjoyed this book, it was a light hearted read following the lives of the main characters whose paths seem to cross in this small leafy village. It was amusing  and I defy any mum not to recognise some of the characters from their own school gates.  The characters were so engaging, I didn’t want the book to end!

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