When I caught a re-tweet about Christie Barlow's "A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother" I thought this is one I have to read, and I was lucky enough for her to send me a copy for my e-reader. That night I promptly ran myself a bath and Amazon Fire in hand started the book.
Less then 10% in I was nodding along and thinking YES this is our school playground. Just like Rachel Young, the main character in this novel, I thought the kids starting "Planet School" would be my chance to meet new people but no, due to work I only visit the school playground on a Friday afternoon, this makes me a bit of an outsider. In a way this is great as it gives me time to playground watch,not so much fun at the numerous parties you are obliged to make conversation at.
I could totally relate to this book pinpointing where the playground mafia stand and whose mothers they are. Just like Rachel I couldn't give a monkeys what I wear on the school run, hey if I could get away with my Eyeore onesie you betcha I'd wear it. How some of these mothers turn up with not a hair out of place and fully made up is beyond me. ... I mean they should be grateful I managed to remember what time pick-up was.
It's great to know it's not just me who hates the mothers who 'drop and run' to get the front seats for the Christmas play just to spend the whole time with a camcorder out so you can't even see around or over them.
A Year In the Life of A Playground Mother follows Rachel, month by month, in her hilarious fight for a place in the world where the playground mafia rule. A life where one false move in the wrong direction could lead to vast complications. As her new life unfolds we meet Penelope, who has a lot more going on in her life than she bargained for, and Mrs Noland, who has a lot less than she claims, not to mention Rupert who is a very busy man. With Mrs High School Musical, The International Sex God and The Frisky Pensioner, the characters are undeniably fascinating, recognisable and leave you compelled to read more.
Full of witty one liners and side splitting stories A Year In the Life of A Playground Mother is a really easy read that you won't want to put down. Rachel's tale will keep you smiling and laughing from beginning to end as she says things some of us have only dared to think.
If you get to the end of this book and think "that's strange I don't recognise some of those characters then look carefully ............ is it you???
Wanting more of Rachel's daily life on the school playground? The sequel, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, is released on the 11th September.
After a year of country living, Rachel Young is finally getting into the swing of things. Her four kids are happy and content at the village school, and she’s managed to navigate the choppy (shark-infested) waters of the playground mafia.
Or… so she thought.
About the author
A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother was inspired by Christie Barlow's fascination into the everyday playground politics and dynamics of primary school mothers. With four children all at various stages in their education, daily school life and friendships have provided a lot of inspiration for this comical fictional novel. Christie was born in the North West of England in 1973 and attended school in Cheshire until she went on to have a very successful career in the Civil Service. Christie currently lives in a small village in Staffordshire with her husband and four children.