A satirical black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition
The Good Enough Mother was brought to my attention by fellow book blogger Joanne Robertson. Joanne’s enthusiasm for the novel jumped out of every sentence in her review When I was contacted by Anoushka Beazley enquiring would I like a copy to review myself?? Why of course I said YES!!!
The Good Enough Mother was published in July 2016 by Larchwood Press.
Read on to see my thoughts!!
‘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?’
Drea Peiris is one of the quirkiest characters portrayed in a novel that I have ever read.
‘If you’re happy and you know it, go fuck yourself’ Drea Age 9
From that opener I knew The Good Enough Mother was going to be different.
Drea Peiris, is a depressive. She carries around an arsenal of pills in her handbag for that moment when she decides that she is ready to go. But intervention is a funny thing and Drea is suddenly abandoned by Alex, her boyfriend, leaving Drea to care for his teenage daughter Ava and all that goes with it.
Drea is a very unlikely candidate for motherhood, hence the name of the book. Her approach to everything in life is quite unorthodox. She lives with her father, who has a unnatural affection for porn movies and now also Ava, who Drea describes as having ‘that awful stench of youth and optimism’
An unlikely trio if ever there was one, each has issues to deal with. But the overriding one for Drea is the loss of her mother at a very young age, thus affecting her emotionally in every way.
I love the descriptions of Gatlin.
Drea paints a picture of the ‘perfect’ village with ‘every kind of shop that a middle-class family needed to survive…..A butcher whose meat and sausages were farmed in the spacious green fields of Kent, where cattle listened to Bach while grazing. A fishmonger – purveyors of fish caught leaping in and out of freshwater streams….’
But for Drea none of this matters. Her worst nightmare everyday is the school run. The designer clad Mums in their massive SUV’s and their ‘perfect’ children. Drea has absolutely no aspirations or desire to be part of this clique but Drea is in trouble.
After Alex absconding, she is now faced with huge school fees that she unable to fund. Desperate measures are required. Drea embarks on rather a dubious journey with her trademark scathing remarks and wit in an attempt at solving her problems.
Can she be a Good Enough Mother to Ava?
Can she succeed in the role that she now finds herself?
Through various drastic means Anoushka Beazley takes the reader on a journey with Drea as she struggles to deal with all the knockbacks thrown in her way.
The story is told with a very dark sense of humour but underneath it all there is story of a woman struggling to deal with issues from her past, her present and her future. Anoushka Beazley deals with the difficult topic of mental health and the various challenges facing all mothers (& fathers) in today’s modern society.
The village of Gatlin could be anywhere.
We all know the different types of mothers competing for the top position at the school gates and we all know someone a little like Drea, someone who quite frankly just doesn’t give a s**t!!
Quite a refreshing change!
Quite a special novel!
Thank you Joanne Robertson and Anoushka Beazley for drawing my attention to, and for giving me the opportunity of, reading The Good Enough Mother
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Who is Anoushka?
Dream job: pathologist who solved crimes.
Did I watch a seventies television show called Quincy M.E. starring Jack Klugman? Religiously. My Papa and I (who I suspect harboured a little man crush on Jack himself) would sit with our Sri Lankan curries on TV trays never missing an episode.
I searched everywhere in the D’s between Chemistry and English but no G.C.S.E Detective Pathologist. A flaccid attempt at education followed until a BA(Hons) in Film at the University of Canterbury woke me up. Science fiction first thing Monday morning and a dissertation on the comparative effects between Mescaline and the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, woke me up. What do you mean my degree needs to lead to a job?
After two years as a TV presenter and researcher I tore myself away from the bright lights of Norwich for a year in New York.
Brought up in a house where the square box of dreams shone its titillating American TV programmes like a beacon through my hideous secondary school years I had to try my hand at acting.
Postgraduate in Drama later; next six years spent as a jobbing actress, waiting by the telephone to hear if I’d got the lead in the new vampire detective series, hearing instead that I’d been double pencilled as the understudy for the Asian corner shop owner’s daughter in a breaking ground new unpaid play on arranged marriages.
Got married (arranged myself) had three kids and did an MA in Creative Writing. Been writing ever since, leading to the mutually terrifying and satisfying realisation that I probably always will.