Book review | 'From Mum With Love'


'From Mum With Love' by Louise Emma Clarke

Released | February 2019
Length | 340 pages
Publisher | Aria
Where & how much? | I read this on my Kindle, free through the Amazon Prime book service.

Price
Paperback | £7.99
Kindle on Prime | Free
Kindle | £2.48


I started reading this book while pregnant with my first child. I was looking for a light-humoured book about parenthood to give me any preparation that wasn't in the form of waiting room pamphlets telling me why I should be lying naked with my baby for the first six months of his life. Bore.

Overview of the story

'From Mum With Love' follows the life of Jessica, a stay-at-home mum, dreaming to one day write professionally. After endless days caring for her only child, Bella, and waiting for her husband, Chris, to come home from work, she decides to start a blog.

Sharing letters she's been writing since the birth of her daughter, she writes to a future Bella in the medium of blog posts. To much surprise to Jessica, the letters are a great hit with mothers across the globe, finding comfort and support through the words she writes.

My review

Ordinarily a reader of horror and thriller novels, 'From Mum With Love', is not the usual style of fiction I would choose to read, but I would definitely be eager to pick up something else from a similar genre after reading this from Clarke.

The story follows Jessica very closely, seeing all situations from her perspective. 

Every scene, event and person is written from Jessica's viewpoint and this can be both insightful, and frustrating. I don't think the main character in a story has to be likeable at all, but sometimes you really do just want to shake her and tell her to see things from other perspectives. 

In other ways, I feel as though it follows the story in a very close-to-life way. Not every character in life can see everything from other's point of view and her changing identity since being a mum is definitely in question throughout the book.

The author's style, to me, follows a very similar pattern to how a blogger would write their posts. Very informal and sometimes, almost, chatty. This feels comfortable to me as an avid blog reader, and fits with the storyline and settings within the book. Knowing Clarke is a parenting blogger herself, similar to her main character, gave this story a charm that I found interesting, but I do wonder how readers outside the blogging world would feel about this.

This easy-going and casual style of writing, alongside hilarious and charming stories about everyday life as a mum at home, was exactly what made this book so lighthearted and easy to read. I'd pick up this book wanting to read ten minutes before bed, before realising I'd be reading for another hour - taking a total of just over five hours to read in full.

I found myself feeling as though I had things in common with Jessica throughout the book, even outside of the mum-world. Clarke wrote about parent-life in a way that I found relatable and funny even though I haven't been a parent yet myself. I feel as though she's connecting with the same audience that Jessica's (and Clarke's!) blog would receive, too. 

Conclusion

In summary, I did love this book. I've tried many books in the same or a similar genre of reading and many have been added to my DNF list, collecting dust on my bookshelves. But 'From Mum With Love' was the first in a long time that I really felt I connected with.

I found myself wanting to explore Jessica's identity since being a mother more, as well as the husband, Chris', who still seems to be stuck in the stage of his life before becoming a parent. I found myself wanting more from the story throughout, and there was definitely scope for this that the writer could have taken. Although I felt as though this could have easily been the set-up to a series of many books based on the same characters, so to find out Clarke is already writing her next has definitely got me excited for the release.

The final chapters were gripping and compelling, with a summary didn't leave you disappointed or let down, finding I wanted to get started on another of Clarke's book the second I finished.





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