The Yummy Mummy gets more demented
Confessions of a Demented Housewife By Niamh Greene (Penguin, €14.99)
The debut author of 2007, Niamh Greene from Wexford, is back by popular demand with the second instalment of diaries from the Demented Housewife -- except that this time they are called confessions rather than diaries.
So her alter ego, Susie Hunt -- the demented yummy mummy of two struggling to cope with the demands of life today -- is back, just when you thought it was safe to venture into a book store near you.
Confessions of a Demented Housewife once again follows the trials and tribulations of Dublin suburban housewife, Susie. Still reeling from the trauma of her almost-affair with Lone Father, Susie's energies are tied up between being a reluctant birthing partner for pregnant VBF (Very Best Friend) Louise and courting the friendship of Celebrity Mum, Angelica Law.
But it's not easy squirming your way into the affections of the rich and famous, as Susie discovers. Angelica's presence at the school gates is causing quite a stir amongst the other yummy mummies, and competition for the coveted role of "friend" is cut-throat.
Even mother-in-law, Mrs H, seems to be making headway, when Susie's attempts seem to be failing to hit the target. Still, perseverance pays off and being an obliging babysitter and owner of a little country retreat begins to pay off. Home life is proving equally chaotic. When husband Joe has a near-death experience, he feels the need to "find himself" and explore an alternative career path. This lands Susie with the burden of being the sole breadwinner. How will she cope?
Her extended family are not proving any easier. Brother- in-law David still hasn't fessed to his mother about his sexual orientation and when the proverbial hits the fan, Susie finds herself cast as go-between.
Then there's the kids. Offspring Katie and Jack are well-adjusted and happy, Susie thinks, even if Jack thinks he's a dog and Katie wants to be a Pussycat Doll.
And there's the impossibly high appearance benchmark set by VBF Louise, who makes new motherhood appear unnaturally glamorous. It simply isn't normal to fit into size-zero jeans so soon after giving birth -- and Susie has the jelly belly to prove it.
All told, the perfect life of the young suburban mum is stressing Susie out as usual. Her struggle to keep the show on the road is as hilarious as before and will have yummy mummies everywhere giggling in recognition again.
Niamh Greene's debut novel Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife hit Number One in the Irish best-seller charts last year and reached Number 12 in the UK charts, selling an impressive 150,000 copies. It earned the author a shortlist placing in two categories of this year's Irish Book Awards (popular fiction novel of the year and best newcomer of the year).
Greene's wicked eye for the funny side of life for today's young mums with the right postal addresses and her ability to spin a yarn are evident again in this sequel. The book is funny. But it's also a cleverly written parody of a celebrity-crazed, materialist culture where image is everything.
Written again in diary format, the sequel once more holds up the mirror to the antics of the yummy-mummy set, laid bare here in side-splitting fashion. Greene's a mum of two young kids herself, so she knows what she's writing about. Definitely one for the sun lounger this summer.