*BLOG TOUR* The Single Mums Book Club by Victoria Cooke

I am very pleased to bring you my review of The Single Mums Book Club by Victoria Cooke on publication day!

Three friends, three single mums, one quest to find love…

It’s 8:30am and I’m already utterly exhausted. My son has lost his football boots, my daughter is ready for school dressed only in her vest and knickers, and of course, my 1-year-old has filled his nappy for what feels like the tenth time this morning.

As for my husband? He’s decided marriage doesn’t suit him, and well… buggered off.

All hope of ‘me time’ has but dwindled to sipping half a glass of wine whilst shouting after the kids. But everything is about to change.

I’m taking control of my life! I’ve joined… a book club.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wow… live a little.’ But my fellow book clubbers, Amanda and Janey, are my lifelines. They understand the daily struggle because they’re mothers too.

And in between the prosecco, Doritos and googling everything about Mr Darcy on SparkNotes, they’ve convinced me to go on a date with my boss.

A single mum of three looking for romance… what could possibly go wrong?

A gloriously funny and relatable read for anyone who just needs a little more ‘me time’. Fans of Why Mummy Drinks and Has Anyone Seen my Sex Life? will snort with laughter at this utterly hilarious and heart-warming read.

Great blurb, and a great cover – excellent ways to draw a reader in, and The Single Mums Book Club provides us with both!

Stephanie is a single Mum of three, who is struggling with her newfound situation. She had always craved to be part of a stereotypical family unit, and for a few short years she had achieved that. Unfortunately, her husband had decided that he wasn’t actually keen on marriage, and therefore ended her perfect family life. As a result, Stephanie finds herself regularly alone, with three children, and very little help. She needs to find herself again, but she has no time, no money and she didn’t even get to keep her friends in the divorce. After what can only be described as an epic breakdown in the local supermarket, Stephanie finds herself in the company of her neighbour Janey, a fellow Mum with her own problems. And so, the Single Mum’s Book Club was born! With the addition of Amanda, a widowed woman desperately in need of company, these three women form a support group that is, at times, loosely based on books!

The descriptions of motherhood in this book are scarily accurate, divorced or not. We’ve all felt stressed, juggling the many tasks that we are faced with when we have children. Even if you’ve got a supportive partner, life is always hectic when children are involved! Victoria Cooke captures the feelings of Mums everywhere beautifully – she really shows how women can feel torn, how much they adore their children, and how they really do put their children first.

I loved following Stephanie’s story – it was good to see her realise that her perfect family life may not have actually been that perfect. In fact it was good to see her realise how her idea of perfect may not have been perfect for her at all! Naturally we got a lovely little romance thrown in for good measure, which was not picture perfect either – dating a divorced mother of three is never going to be easy, but I loved following their own story.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – it was a lovely, easy read which was very easy to relate to. Perfect for a bank holiday weekend – so grab yourself a copy, a blanket and a glass of wine and dive right in!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Victoria Cooke and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Author Bio

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018 and her debut, The Secret fo Falling in Love was optioned in 2020.

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Book Review: Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior

Today I would like to bring you my review of Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior.

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime . . .

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway . . . And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today . . . today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.

I’m sure that like me, you have seen this novel recommended everywhere! I was therefore determined to read this novel as soon as I could, and I was not disappointed!

Veronica McCreedy is an 85 woman, who lives alone in her large house, with only her housekeeper Eileen for company. She is stubborn, and she is most definitely set in her ways! She spends her days litter picking or watching wildlife documentaries, but as the days pass her by she realises that she has a significant amount of money and no one to leave it to when she dies. As her past seems to haunt her more and more, she looks to the future – one that she would really like to have an impact on, despite her advancing age. One evening, whilst upset that her beloved Earth Matters show seems have finished, she discovers a new wildlife show, The Plight of Penguins, presented by her favourite wildlife presenter Robert Saddlebow. What follows, is a journey of epic proportions. An elderly woman with a plight, a long lost Grandson, and finally, a colony of penguins in deepest Antarctica.

Away with the Penguins is a story about love and loss, but it is so much more than that. It is a story that shows us that no matter what barriers you find in front of you, they can be overcome. Mrs McCreedy is a very wealthy woman, and as we all know, money can indeed help make life a little easier. But that money did not stop her reaching 85 years of age all alone, with no one but her housekeeper for company. However, she does not let her age hold her back in her quest to help the penguins. Instead she goes on an actual quest, across land and sea, finding out more about herself whilst also cautiously letting others into her life.

This is such a wonderful novel – it was easy to get wrapped up in Veronicas story and empathise with her. She may have been an older lady set in her ways with a grouchy nature, but as you learn more about her you realise why she has shut herself away for so long. I also really enjoyed learning more about Patrick, which added such a beautiful element to the story as it unfolded. I am more than happy to recommend this novel – if it does nothing else other than make you want to pick up the phone and call your Grandparents if you are still lucky enough to have them, then it will have been a successful read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Away with the Penguins can be bought in all good bookshops, but if you can support a local independent bookshop then please do.