Book Review: ‘The Bad Mother’s Handbook’ by Kate Long

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‘The Bad Mother’s Handbook’ by Kate Long


“The Bad Mother’s Handbook” is the story of a year in the lives of Charlotte, Karen and Nan, none of whom can quite believe how things have turned out. Why is it all so difficult? Why do the most ridiculous mistakes have the most disastrous consequences? When are you too old to throw up in a flowerbed after too much vodka? When are you too young to be a mother? Both hilarious and wise, it is a clear-eyed look at motherhood – and childhood – in its many guises, from the moment the condom breaks to the moment you file for divorce or, more optimistically, from the moment you hear your baby’s first cry to the moment you realize that there are as many sorts of mother as there are children, and that love sometimes is the most important thing of all.”

Rose-Worthy Features

            Honestly, I wasn’t crazy for any of the characters in this book, but if I had to pick one that I liked it would be Charlotte. She started out as this edgy teenager, but ends the book as a young mother. I think one of the reasons I liked her was out of pity. The father is inexistent, her mom is behaving cold, she doesn’t have any TRUE friends, so I just felt bad for her. One thing that I liked about her was her motherly nature. Even though she’s young she starts acting like a good mother really fast.  

                One thing that I liked was the relationship between Charlotte and Daniel. Don’t get me wrong it was REALLY complicated. Lots of ups and downs, but somehow they make it work. Daniel was a sweet guy and really just wanted to be there for Charlotte. So I didn’t mind their relationship.

Thorny Features

                While reading this book something to be aware of is that it’s very… visual. I don’t even know what I mean, but there were a few TMI scenes. I am not a big fan when some of the scenes in a book are a little TO visual.

    I HATED Karen. I don’t know if that was the author’s purpose, but I hated her. What kind of mother completely abandons her daughter? Uhhh. She was selfish, in my opinion. She drops her daughter in a very drastic moment in her life, to worry about her own problems. I did not like her at all.

            In this book, the point of view switches from Karen, Charlotte, and sometimes Nan. I think reading this book would have been a little smoother if there was a bigger indication on whose point of view was whose. Sure there was a small font change of the first letter, but when you’re in the zone, you don’t really notice a small font change of the first letter.

            If there’s one thing that I hate in a book is an ending that drags on, and this book had a dragged on ending. The big event happened, and the book just felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. I would have preferred if the book ended after the big event while the plot was wrapping up.

Final Thoughts

    Overall, I rate this book a 2 out of 5. This book was average. I feel like I say that a lot, but it was. I wasn’t a big fan of this book, and I can’t see myself recommending it to other people. Both Charlotte and Karen experienced some sort of character development, but I think Charlotte changed the most. I still don’t like Karen. I don’t think I ever will. The plot had some interesting moments, but there were some that just dragged on. I liked that the author included British accents into the mix. I think that made the book more entertaining to read. Or atleast I think they’re British. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ve just been reviewed.

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‘The Bad Mothers Handbook’ by Kate Long

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