Well this is certainly a vast departure for Nina Manning from the previous books that she’s written, and it just goes to show what a versatile author she is!
Sophy, Mel and Aisha couldn’t be more different, but they all have one thing in common: they’re new moms! They meet by chance one day when they arrive for a mom-and-baby group that ends up being cancelled. They decide to go for coffee and land up exchanging numbers. From there, a friendship blossoms between the three of them, built firmly on WhatsApp conversations in the early morning hours when they’re usually awake and feeding their babies, bleary-eyed and barely functioning. For it’s at that time when they feel the most vulnerable and when they need support, knowing that someone out there is going through the same and that they’re not alone.
Sophy vlogs about healthy eating and keeping fit, sure that within six weeks of giving birth to little Max, she’ll be back to ‘normal’, letting her followers know how being a new mom doesn’t need to be a setback in taking care of yourself. But we all know that things usually don’t go as planned, which surprises Sophy and her boyfriend. Mel is a singer who intended performing well into her pregnancy until an unexpected incident put an end to that idea. She’s apprehensive about returning to the stage, even though her lovely husband Dazz is fully supportive and is great with baby Sky and their older daughter Leia. Aisha takes on the bulk of the childcare for twins Otis and Jude; that’s what she agreed with her partner Charley. But she’s starting to buckle with exhaustion, and constantly feels like she’s still seeking approval from her family for being in a same-sex relationship.
I adored all three of these women, and each of their different stories was so well defined by the chapters that alternated between each of them. We really got to know them and their individual situations so well. The author really manages to pack a number of relevant issues into this book. As well as the obvious theme of new motherhood and the initial feelings of isolation and inadequacy that might come with that, she also covers extended family dynamics, mental health (outside of the ‘new mom’ realm), attitudes to same-sex relationships, gender-based violence, and the all-important one: the vital necessity of a support system when you’ve just had a baby! It is shocking how often that is ignored and how women are still just expected to “get on with it”!
While my days of being a ‘3am shattered mom’ are long forgotten, I could still relate to this book. I think that it’s relatable even for those who don’t have kids! There’s nothing like knowing that you’ve found your ‘tribe’: the ones who understand you, who ‘get’ you, who support you, who you connect with, without having to say a word. They’re your people. With them, you know you belong and you feel at home. Everyone deserves to have friends like Sophy, Mel and Aisha.
Nina Manning, you created quite the ‘girl gang’ here! Well done! This was a 5-star read for me, and when I finished the book, I missed those girls almost immediately. I’d love a sequel! Thank you to RaRa Resources and Boldwood Books for the blog tour …
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3AMIZCA
Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.
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