Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Book Review - The Misadventures of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow

Amazon UK
Title: The Misadventures of a Playground Mother
Author: Christie Barlow
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookoutre
Publication Date: 11th September 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

New term. New dramas. New friendships. And that’s just the parents…

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. 

When playground mum Penelope Kensington moves herself and her kids into Rachel’s home, after discovering husband Rupert has been having an affair, Rachel knows she must ask them politely to leave. The problem is, Penelope never takes no for an answer. 

As Rachel tries to deal with Penelope, she also meets new school mum Melanie. Melanie is a breath of fresh air, but her arrival sends ripples of gossip through the playground. Melanie has a few secrets in her closet, and it seems she’s not the only one… 

Wow this is even better than the first one. This book is a laugh a minute riot that is simply superb. There is something so enjoyable and the reading of this book, from the introduction to the ending, it will have you giggling and there could even be tears. 

The Misadventures of a Playground Mother can be read as a stand alone book, however to do so would mean you are missing out on fully understanding the complexity and ridiculousness that is Penelope Kensington. And if you do decide to read this one first, I would still go back and reading the first just to fully understand Rachel's feelings towards Penelope. 

So we start 1 day on from where the previous book leaves off, at the start of a new year, and Rachel is hopeful of a less chaotic second year in their new village. Ideally she would love to escape the fun and games at the hands of the playground mafia, and she definitely wants to do remove herself from the friendship with Penelope. 

As you may guess, since this is a book, things don't quite happen as Rachel intends. During the course of this new year there are revelations galore, speed dating, people being caught in compromising positions, a holiday to Spain (which is easily the best section of this book and had me laughing out loud in hysterics), a summer fete, and a new mother in the playground. 

Thankfully for almost everyone, Melanie, the new mum, is relatively normal and is the sort of person who soon strikes up a genuine friendship with Rachel. She does have  a few things hidden in her background, but nothing like some of the salacious details that come out about some of the recurring characters. 

This book was an absolute delight to read, and having vaguely known what to expect from the first book, this one feels a lot more polished, and was great to be able to read more about this wacky set of characters. 

The Misadvenutres of a Playground Mother has turned me into a complete Christie Barlow convert. I can't wait to read her future releases, if they are written with the same level of wit and characterisation as this one. 

Thanks to Bookoutre and Netgalley for this review copy. This is my honest opinion. 


  1. "Salacious details..." Oh, I'm loving the sound of this! Fab review, Christie. Well done! Thanks for sharing, Rachel. :) xx


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