by Fiona Neill
Long ago, I read The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill. I did not think I would finish it.
The first 100 pages (out of the total 420) were about Lucy Sweeney, housewife and mother of three, who gave up her job as a TV producer to be a stay-at-home mum. Lucy struggles with her household chores, has communication problems with her husband, and chastises herself when she sees other families who are seemingly perfect.
The book was interesting and funny but it was quite difficult to relate to characters other than Lucy, primarily because they are given names such as ‘Alpha Mum’ and ‘Sexy Domesticated Dad’. I needed to frequently check back who this was and what he/she was like.
Moreover, as a critic says “Fiona Neill made it seem like once you become a mother, your ability to think sensibly goes out of the window”. And as another says (and rightly so), “I’m tired of reading about North Londoners working in ‘The Media’ and women who constantly worry about their weight yet portray thin women as uptight neurotics.”
The hardcover version was a Top Ten Sunday Times bestseller for seven weeks, and over 300,000 copies of the paperback edition and foreign rights in twenty languages have been sold. This could be because the book strikes a chord with many tired housewives/mothers out there. The subject is quite relevant but the treatment is bad.
I always read the last pages of any book (yes, even suspense thrillers!). Then I work my way through the book to see how the end came about. Sadly enough, the ending of this book seemed ‘made-up’ rather than natural. Hence, I struggled to finish reading it.