Title: The Mummy Bloggers
Author: Holly Wainwright
Published: September 1st 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Rating: 4 stars
Sometimes life behind the screen is not as rosy as it seems…
Meet three Mummy Bloggers – each of them followed, idolised, imitated, taunted and trolled online.
Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a secret past. Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her kids. Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her kids before bedtime.
When all three women are nominated for a prestigious blogging award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds-and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier – and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide.
The Mummy Bloggers is a frank and funny look at the perils and perks of life online.
It was only a matter of time before an author was going to take on the mighty and influential world of parenting blogs. Holly Wainwright, the Head of Entertainment of Australia’s largest women’s lifestyle digital media site, Mamamia and a mum of two, is just the person for the job. Wainwright’s debut novel, The Mummy Bloggers, delves right into the parenting blogging sphere, revealing a world of high drama, stretched truths, comedy and determination.
When three different parenting bloggers are nominated for a prominent blogging award, which comes with a hefty cash prize, all three vow to do all they can to win. This includes lying, stretching the truth and taking advantage of loved ones. Each blogger needs to collect the most followers and notoriety in the form of ‘likes’ for their respective blogs, in order to win the prize. Although all three women share their parenting experiences with their followers, they have vastly different approaches to their blogs. Elle Campbell is a blogger who tries to project the image of being the perfect mum, her posts do not share the ugly truth and the hard times behind being a parent. Abi Black is a mummy blogger who has a passion for a no sugar diet and homeschooling. Many of her posts are reflective of her mantra of keeping things as natural as possible. Leisel Adams is perhaps the most authentic of the three women. She takes an honest approach to her parenting blog, she is unafraid to share the trying times and guilt associated with being a working mum in today’s age. As the awards loom over the women, it will test their honesty and character, as each vies to get as many supporters as possible. The result is a mixture of hilarity and poignancy.
The Mummy Bloggers, the first feature novel by Holly Wainwright, is a novel that really packs a punch. Don’t be fooled by the sweet ice-cream cover! The Mummy Bloggers is a book that shocked and surprised me, while also making me laugh. Most of all, it was a book I could easily relate to, perhaps as I am a keen social media user, a blogger and a parent to two children. The Mummy Bloggers casts a very critical eye over blogging world and modern parenting, all delivered in a witty and observant package.
At the centre of the book are the three mummy bloggers, Abi, Elle and Leisel, who are all vying for the coveted prize of being crowned the best blog. Wainwright’s characterisation is one of this book’s strengths. Elle is a protagonist who is pretty despicable in her actions. Her determination to come out on top of this blogging competition is unquestionable. Although I don’t have anything nice to say about this protagonist, the ugly truth of Elle’s character is that there are many Elle’s out there blogging and approaching parenting in a glossy way. We are never quite sure with the Elle’s in the world what their life is truly like. These bloggers project an image onto social media platforms of perfection, not reality. It definitely gives the reader food for thought in the area of social media.
Competing against Elle is Abi, the loudest and most opinionated of the trio. Abi’s agenda is clear, she is a green focussed, mother earth style parent. Her strong viewpoints and her willingness to cause a heated debate or a commotion gets her into a spot of bother in the novel. On the flip side, Abi’s character generates many of the humorous moments in the novel. The pickles Abi seems to get herself into and the impact of these situations had me laughing out loud.
The final contender in the mummy blogging war is Leisel. Leisel is a character that many readers will be able to sympathise and relate to. She is the most genuine of the three bloggers. I was able to sympathise greatly with Leisel’s situation and I found her viewpoints on parenting the most realistic. Leisel also reminds us of why supporters of these mummy blogs, which I have turned to in the past when my children were much younger, are in existence. They are ultimately devised to provide advice, encouragement and an army of support to those who may be isolated or disconnected from the real life and are struggling with the demands of parenting.
Holly Wainwright builds this novel up to a superb conclusion and I was happy with the final result. The Mummy Bloggers is a scintillating, quick paced and highly topical novel. I was impressed by Holly Wainwright’s first novel and I hope that it is just the beginning for this author’s foray into fiction. The Mummy Bloggers gets my thumbs up. It is a book I would not hesitate to recommend to all readers, especially if you want an insight into the world of social media.
The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright was published on September 1st 2017 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Mummy Bloggers, Holly Wainwright, visit here.
*I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.