The Single Mum's Mansion by Janet Hoggarth
Published: 1st June 2018
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
For all fans of Motherland, Allison Pearson and Hurrah for Gin.
Amanda Wilkie unexpectedly finds herself alone with three children under five in a rambling Victorian house in London, after her husband walks leaves them claiming he’s just ‘lost the love’, like one might carelessly lose a glove.
A few months later, Amanda’s heavily pregnant friend, Ali, crashes into her kitchen announcing her partner is also about to abscond. Once Ali's baby Grace is born, Amanda encourages them to move in. When Jacqui, a long-lost friend and fellow single mum, starts dropping by daily, the household is complete.
Getting divorced is no walk in the park, but the three friends refuse to be defined by it. And, as they slowly emerge out of the wreckage like a trio of sequin-clad Gloria Gaynors singing ‘I Will Survive’, they realise that anything is possible. Even loving again…
The Single Mum’s Mansion by Janet Hoggarth is a book which explores the deep bond between women. Three newly single mum’s share this bond in this book as they navigate life after divorces and watch their ex-partners move on with their lives.
Amanda, owner of a large Victorian mansion which becomes the Single Mum’s, has recently been left by husband Sam for a younger tv chef Carrie and she not coping well. With three young kids everything gets out of control and the four of them spend most of the time crying or yelling at each other. So, when best friend Ali announces she’s pregnant and things with partner Jim are not great Amanda offers her the loft in her home to live in. It’s not long before Ali and baby daughter Grace are fully installed with Amanda and when Amanda bumps into an old friend from toddler group newly single Jacqui the trio are complete. What follows is a hilarious ride working through their anger, frustrations and trials of being a single mum until maybe one day they can all move on and forgive their selfish exes for ruining their lives.
One of the most enjoyable things about this book is how real the three main characters and particularly Amanda felt. They are not perfect by a long way and that made me love them. They are women that are not afraid to cry uncontrollable and shout at their children even when deep down they know they should just hug them instead, they feel overwhelming jealously towards their ex’s new partners which leads to some crazy actions and probably too much alcohol and drug consumption, but overall, they’re incredibly local to their friends and protective of anyone else hurting their children. All of this leads to some incredibly funny scenes, my favourite involving sponges, wedding dresses and dry humping.
One of my favourite characters in this book was young Isla, she may only be young but that girl has a very astute way of looking at life. I loved the way she instead Amanda should get a new boyfriend because they needed a “Space Man” in the house, so cute.
There were a couple of places where I felt the story started to drag a little and that’s why I’ve only awarded four stars. The Single Mum’s Mansion is an enjoyable read which will make you laugh, make you cry and make you very thankful you have female friends.
Thank you so much to Aria for sending me a copy to review and for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
About the Author
Janet Hoggarth has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, children’s book editor and DJ with her best friend (under the name of Whitney and Britney). She has published several children’s books, the most recent ones written under the pseudonym of Jess Bright. Her first adult novel, The Single Mums’ Mansion is based on her experiences of living communally as a single parent.
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