When I received an advance copy of The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. It came just after I had joined the Rainy City Kids bookclub and managed to carve out time to read for the first time since Tall Boy arrived. I am finally putting nap times to better use than mindlessly scrolling my social media feeds, and whilst I now find myself reading on my Kindle or iPhone in those precious snatched moments, instead of curling up with a paperback for hours on end, I am loving the opportunity to lose myself in a book.
Read on for my thoughts about this brand new novel.
A bit about The Beta Mum
When her husband Michael is offered a job in London, Sophie and her three year old daughter have to uproot from their home town in Canada; leaving family, friends and their comfortable, familiar life behind.
The couple employ a Nursery Consultant to find them the perfect place, hoping to give Kaya the best possible start in England.
“…no one would care as much as I did when she built that three-block tower, or finished the wooden animal puzzle by herself,…” (page 63)
Sophie finds herself dropping Kaya off at the gates of the most prestigious day nursery in London, rubbing shoulders with the super rich and glamorous yummy mummies of Notting Hill.
With Michael working all hours and rarely home to spend quality time with the family, Sophie starts a blog as a way to deal with her loneliness and make sense of her struggles to ‘fit in’ with other mums at the nursery.
“…instead of being excluded by the popular girls, I am excluded by the Alpha Mums.” (page 75)
Through her blog, The Beta Mum, Sophie starts to confide in her online mummy followers. With its growing popularity the blog takes on a life of its own and Sophie comes close to losing everything she holds dear.
A bit about the Author
The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is the debut novel of Isabella Davidson, writer of the Notting Hill Yummy Mummy blog where she writes about the ins and outs of life as a parent in Notting Hill. Although identifying herself as an ‘Alpha’, the About page of her blog hints at parallels between Sophie’s experiences and her own.
Writing a book is the fulfilment of a personal dream, no doubt inspired by her father, who told her about the quote,
“In his lifetime every man should plant a tree, write a book and have a child.” (John Nichols, The Empanada Brotherhood)
Why read The Beta Mum?
The Beta Mum is written primarily for mothers but anyone who finds it hard to ‘fit in’ will empathise with Sophie. It’s a lighthearted, easy read, which makes it perfect for busy mums to dip in to as their children allow. After all, once you become a parent, the days of being able to finish a book in one sitting are long gone.
It’s not long before you find yourself rooting for Sophie as she makes tentatives steps in to London life. Any mother who has come across pushy or competitive parents will relate to her predicament as she tries to put her own fears aside to do the best for her daughter. Any blogger will understand the outlet that writing something entirely for yourself can give, and that insatiable need to check your stats to find out who’s reading.
Underneath the lighthearted exterior the book has deeper messages to convey.
“It was time to get out of my cyber world and start living.” (page 222)
It highlights the benefit of maintaining our own sense of identity once we become parents, it reminds us not to lose ourselves in cyberspace at the expense of our real lives, and most importantly it reminds us that as mothers we are in this together.
We are all a bit like Sophie. Regardless of how much money we have, where we live, or where we send our children to school, we all suffer from sleepless nights, ‘mum guilt’, and a strong desire to do the best for our little ones.
“I was convinced that there was a baby hormone that was only released once you laid eyes on that innocent, helpless, strange creature lying in the crook of your arm…[that] could turn you from a rational, sane human being into an irrational, insane being, full of anxiety, always on the lookout for imminent danger.” (page 62)
Surely then The Beta Mum is a reminder for us all to be kinder to each other.
Where to buy The Beta Mum
With the hint of warm, summer days on the horizon, The Beta Mum is a perfect holiday read. It would also be a great present for a mum friend, particularly one who loves reading and is looking for something lighthearted but engaging to squeeze in to nap times.
Released on 20 June, The Beta Mum is available for pre-order on Amazon now.