“Gatlin – a leafy affluent town; Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch.
However, all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman.
Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan…unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin.
Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical and hilarious black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.”
I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley blog tour. I have been wanting to read this book since I read the amazing reviews when it was first published back in the Summer. For one thing, just look at that cover! A number of the reviews I saw said that this book is so much more than you expect it to be. So I had to take a peek, and I’m rather glad I did.
When I first started reading I’m afraid to say that I was a little disappointed. I started to feel that fabulous cover with it’s blood splattered knife had conned me and the reviews I’d read must have been written by people who had never read a ‘dark’ novel before in their lives. It seemed to be a story about the aftermath of a rocky relationship and how the injured party, in this case Drea, was dropped in it by her hopeless boyfriend as he cavorted off to France with a much younger model and WITHOUT his teenage daughter. The teenage daughter being left in the somewhat unsure, unwilling and unprepared hands of Drea. But oh, how wrong could I be!?
Drea, despite her numerous failings, decides to step up to the plate and do all she can to make her step-daughter happy. After all, poor Ava has lost her Dad (albeit to the continent) and Drea is all she has. After much consideration Drea decides that what makes Ava happy is her private school and her upper class friends (and who wants to subject their step-daughter to even more upheaval and turmoil by moving them to the local comprehensive – not Drea!). So, with a loose, sketchy plan in mind Drea starts to plot. And plot she must as school fees are due soon and come in at around £12,000…yikes!
Drea is something else altogether. I have never met a character quite like her before. If I could meet one fictional character in real life, I think I would want that character to be Drea. She’s…..erm….a terrible mother in some respects but the best kind of mother in many others. She has an ‘I don’t care what you think about me’ attitude, particularly when it comes to the snooty PTA mums. And she’s prime suspect in a murder investigation! There were so many things I really liked about Drea. The way she tries to raise the money for Ava’s school fees was both shocking and funny. Her relationship with Ava and then with Ava’s friends was heartwarming to read. I’ve never met a bunch of teenagers in a book that I liked more than Ava, Amelia and Tabatha. Drea’s new relationship mishaps made me chuckle (particularly the supermarket scene, which still makes me chuckle even now). Among the laughs and the giggles there is a much darker theme running throughout the story and that is Drea’s obsession with her mum’s suicide and her plan to take her own life. I found myself hoping that Drea wouldn’t take the 50 paracetamol squirreled away in her bag.
The plot drew me in after that initial shaky start and kept my attention throughout. I just couldn’t wait to see what Drea was going to do next. There are many surprises along the way, times when things will happen and you’ll say to yourself ‘well, I never saw THAT coming!’.
Would I recommend this book? I would, Anoushka Beazley has managed to blend some quite dark themes with brilliant humour to create an edgy yet feel good, uplifting novel that will make all of us mothers feel just a little bit better about ourselves.
Four out of five stars.
If you would like the chance to win one of 10 signed copies of The Good Enough Mother then please click the link below:
Anoushka Beazley has a film degree, an acting diploma and a masters in creative writing. She is a full time novelist, lives in North London with three little witches, a lawyer and a Maine Coon.