This is no fairytale..A novel step-mum read.
Here’s a novel idea.
A story where the central, strong and well developed character is a stepmother but not vain or evil.
I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed this book- The Patchwork Marriage, by Jane Green- as much as I did if I wasn’t a stepmother myself?
So I am recommending it enormously not just to woman in a similar step role, but to all looking for a book to delve into over the upcoming holidays; because I really did enjoy it, and would be interested to know if women, who aren’t raising step-children would and will as well.
It’s certainly not going to have the impact on popular culture like the Fifty Shades trilogy or be considered for any literary awards, but I do believe for an easy, enjoyable and engrossing read, it’s a winner. It is a book you can lie on a sunbed or under a doona with and lose yourself.
For the first three chapters, I felt like someone had been peering into my life and then put all the problems and confusion, highs and lows, struggles and stresses of a blended family into print.
But then as more and more issues and dilemmas creep into the lives of Andi and her husband Ethan, including alcohol, drugs, teenage pregnancy, custody battles and more, I felt grateful that I didn’t have those layers of misery to deal with.
Regardless of the scale of the problems though, the emotions that come with juggling the misgivings, uncertainty, frustrations, fear and sometimes fulfillment of a step-family are just as real. And I’m certain parlay into a traditional family as well.
Andi marries a man, who already has two daughters from his first marriage. Andi has no biological children herself and when she enters her forties accepts that motherhood for her is to help raise her two step-children.
The biological mother has basically bowed out of her parenting responsibilities and left pretty much all of it to her ex and Andi.
The youngest daughter has accepted Andi as her Dad’s wife and her step-mother and their relationship over the years the book covers, which is at least a decade, is strong and loving.
The eldest, Emily is almost a teenager when her traditional family life changes and is at the heart of all the hurt.
She doesn’t want to like her new step-mother as it would be a betrayal of her real mother, but in turn Emily is angry at her mum for abandoning her an her sister.
She also pits her Dad against Andi with tantrums and attention-seeking behaviour, which causes friction in their relationship.
What is fabulous, is that the skills and search for patching together a marriage and indeed a family, is told from both Andi and Emily’s perspective.
Thought-provoking without being too heavy that you need too much time out out for a brain rest.
I’d be interested to know if it was just me that enjoyed it.