‘Mother of the Year’ by Karen Ross, was….okay. If you are looking for a book with great depth or a read to challenge your intellect, then this isn’t for you. However, if you are after a light-hearted, frothy romp of a read for your summer hols, full of eccentric characters and off-beat incidents, then this is your book.
The two main characters, Beth Jackson and JJ, are at cross-purposes. JJ (otherwise known as Juliet) believes that her mother Beth ‘would prefer colonic irrigation’ (page 1) to spending time with her daughter, while Beth’s version sees a daughter as having grown from ‘an adorable and bright little girl’ (page 13) to one that doesn’t even bother sending a Mother’s Day card.
Although the first person narrator for the majority of the story is the daughter, Juliet, it is interspersed with third person narrative written from Beth’s point of view. Through the use of common events seen through their different eyes we are given a reader’s privileged insight into how perspective has influenced the development of the women’s relationship over the years.
The story follows their strained adult relationship as mother and daughter through a series of misunderstandings, involving a cast of likeable, but quirky characters to a rather madcap conclusion involving a secure art gallery, a sand sculpture, an irate janitor, a mad dog and the sudden onset of labour. In the process, Beth and Juliet finally come to realise each other’s worth, acknowledge the impact of their behaviour on their mother/daughter relationship over the years and reconciling for the ‘Happy Ever After’ ending.
This was an enjoyable read, but not a gripping page-turner.
I rate ‘Mother of the Year’ three out of five stars.