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The one person who could best judge a Mother of the Year competition would surely be a nominee’s daughter, right? And yet where three-time winner Beth Jackson is concerned, her daughter JJ is the one person who remains unconvinced the accolade is warranted.

Mother of the Year by Karen Ross

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: One of the funniest books I've read this year, this is feel good fiction for mums and daughters of all ages.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: February 2014
Publisher: Ebury Press
ISBN: 978-0091956400

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This is JJ’s story more so than Beth’s, so let’s meet her. Twenty something, living in a flat-share in London, working in advertising, waiting for her boyfriend to propose. Not quite the same glamourous life as her mum, who’s a sort of Davina McCall/Anthea Turner/Fiona Phillips hybrid, but then she doesn’t want to get through life trading on her mother’s name, thank you very much. She will succeed in spite of, not thanks to, her family connections. It can be hard to get away from her mum’s shadow, however, and as she lays bare facts of JJ’s childhood and shares family stories with the nation, well, it doesn’t go down too well.

This is a really entertaining book that reads like a comedy of errors at times. From her fashion choices to her living situation, JJ often struggles to get it right and there are a lot of laughs at her expense. Throw in some unfortunate GroupOn style deals, a cringe worthy commercial for fruit juice, some unscrupulous Polish bankers and a LOT of sand and you have some brilliant scenes that make this an authentic and original entrant to the world of chick lit.

I read this at great speed because it had me hooked. While I’m not sure we would be BFFs, I liked JJ and wanted to see what trouble she got herself into next. She’s like a daft acquaintance who always has a slapstick story to tell for your amusement. I liked Beth too though I found her story a little harder to buy, considering where she had come from and where she had got to.

This is quite a clever book, for all its silliness, and that was something I liked. It wasn’t as superficial as it first seemed and the narrative was well worked, tightly edited and effective in turning this from just another piece of chicklit to something a little better. It’s Lindt to bog-standard Cadburys, or my balsamic to your malt vinegar, and I’d recommend it for both mothers and daughters.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

More mum fun? Check out The Motherhood Walk of Fame by Shari Low or see our list of Top Ten Books For Your Mother

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Buy Mother of the Year by Karen Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mother of the Year by Karen Ross at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mother of the Year by Karen Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mother of the Year by Karen Ross at


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