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Friday, November 25, 2011


This was a strange book for me. Half the time I wanted to shake Clara well and ask her to snap out of it and the balance half I was admiring her tenacity in doing what she was doing.

Totally self absorbed Clara crashes into Lorraine's car - the car is damaged badly and Clara takes on the family
lock, stock and babies and all as she feels at that moment that there is nothing else that could be done as the family was (a) homeless and (b) used the car as their sleeping/living space.

Fast forward a couple of weeks - Lorraine is ill, seriously ill in hospital and her no good husband realizes that he is on to a gold mine with Clara. He vanishes taking with him as much as he could leaving behind three children including a baby and a grumpy, grasping mother in law who only wants to take as much as she can, when she can.  Clara 43 years old living an orderly, regular life, who has  never handled children is thrown into the deep end. Knowing that Social Services would take over if she did call on them she never does. She enjoys the experience of motherhood second hand, she gets exasperated and angry like mothers all do, but she does box on.

At the end of the day Lorraine realizes that a comfortable, settled lifestyle is becoming attractive to her children and that she is going to lose them if she does not get back on her feet and claim them. This was the part that was sad, because for Lorraine there was no simple way of cutting Clara out of the children's lives. She was brutal and Clara found it a horrible loss specially the loss of the baby from her life. After everything that Clara did not just for Lorraine's children, but even tracking down the lost husband, to taking over the grasping mother in law - Lorraine just wanted out and there was a lot of resentment on her side when she saw how attached the children were to Clara.

The book showed all variations of human behaviour - love, greed, resentment, anger, animosity, anxiety, humour in fact everything that having such a mixed bunch of characters would involve. An interesting read.


  1. This sounds interesting but the set up seems so unlikely. I think that would put me off a little bit.

  2. This is one book that I acquired when it was first released in hardcover and still have not read it. I have a feeling after reading your review that I might like it though.

  3. Sounds like a complicated issue, really, and probably one that would upset me. Love the baby one the cover though :)

  4. I'm glad you had a chance to read it though sorry you don't find it as interesting as I did.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  5. I read this book and I enjoyed it a lot. A pity you weren't so impressed.

    I agree about Lorraine, there was no good way she god get rid of Clara and she does it quite suddenly.

    I was glad the end was good, and bad, at the same time.

  6. This sounds like a unique and interesting premise -- the fact that the story/characters were able to evoke strong feelings from you makes me think I want to look for this one.