cover image Slummy Mummy

Slummy Mummy

Fiona Neill, , read by Katherine Kellgren. . Listen & Live Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59316-101-9

Neill's humorous novel about a hopelessly disorganized mother constantly getting herself into scrapes would have benefited from abridgment. While talented narrator Kellgren ably conveys Lucy's likability and expertly creates distinctive voices for the other characters, the novel's many similar incidents blur. Lucy constantly finds herself in embarrassingly public situations (her toddler son pees on the leg of a famous actor; she uses a credit card she's reported lost and must deal with the police; she ducks down in her car to avoid being seen by someone and a crowd gathers to find out who abandoned their children in a car). After a while, the repetitive incidents become predictable, and the audiobook's pace becomes tedious. Only on the final disc does the story pick up again, with a hilariously farcical climax that throws all the characters and subplots together. The characters are likable and the story is amusing, but judicious abridging would have made for a brisker, funnier listen. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, April 23). (July)