cover image Slummy Mummy

Slummy Mummy

Fiona Neill, . . Riverhead, $24.95 (337pp) ISBN 978-1-59448-944-0

L ike Bridget Jones before her, Lucy Sweeney, the heroine of this pastel-jacketed bonbon of a debut, is an endearing everywoman prone to disaster. But unlike her chick lit predecessor, Lucy is a married, stay-at-home mom who gave up an impressive career as a television news producer to care for her three sons in tony northwest London. Lucy exists in a constant state of chaos (she has lost 11 credit cards in the past year; she has seven different kinds of credit card debt; and her habit of wearing pajamas to drop off her children at school has hardly gone unnoticed). But, when a flirtation with “Sexy Domesticated Dad” (a fellow classroom parent) threatens to develop into something more, so too does Lucy’s growing sense that “somewhere in the domestic maelstrom I have lost myself.” Whether she will find herself again—and, in time—is the question at the center of this crackling-with-wit debut. Although the plot careens toward an over-the-top, too-neat ending, London Times columnist Neill’s delight in and empathy for her characters, her respect for the demands of domestic life and her tender evocations of motherhood more than compensate. (July)