The Diary of an Honest Mum

Jools Oliver, Author . Hyperion $23.95 (317p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0270-2

Memoirs on motherhood focus either on a particular aspect, like a preemie birth or juggling work and baby, or are otherwise beautifully written, capturing the dizzying highs and the treacherous lows of motherhood. Oliver's, unfortunately, is neither. Oliver, a former model married to Naked Chef Jamie Oliver, gave birth to two girls within a year of each other. Her memoir—which follows her pregnancy and the first year with her older child, Poppy—is littered with clichés and clunky writing ("Everything had to smell 'fresh' to me—that's the only way I can describe it. But, ironically, I didn't like air fresheners—oh, it's a barmy old world!") and some of British Oliver's advice runs counter to what most American OBs will tell you ("A good tip... was not to slather my nipples in specialized nipple cream but to allow them to dry and crack as this way they would become hardened to it and within weeks they would heal"). As much of the practical information is geared toward a U.K. audience, those looking for a solid baby advice/memoir book will do best to go elsewhere; those interested in a peek at baby rearing the celebrity way will enjoy the glimpses into Oliver's life and the wealth of photos of her and her family. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
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