Wednesday 16 December 2020

Call Me Mummy - Tina Baker



Glamorous, beautiful Mummy has everything a woman could want. Except for a daughter of her very own. So when she sees Kim - heavily pregnant, glued to her phone and ignoring her eldest child in a busy shop - she does what anyone would do. She takes her. But foul-mouthed little Tonya is not the daughter that Mummy was hoping for.

As Tonya fiercely resists Mummy's attempts to make her into the perfect child, Kim is demonised by the media as a 'scummy mummy', who deserves to have her other children taken too. Haunted by memories of her own childhood and refusing to play by the media's rules, Kim begins to spiral, turning on those who love her.

Though they are worlds apart, Mummy and Kim have more in common than they could possibly imagine. But it is five-year-old Tonya who is caught in the middle...


What did I think?

This book is absolutely outstanding; it's a highly original child abduction story and it had me completely gripped from start to finish.  I am completely gobsmacked that Call Me Mummy is Tina Baker's debut novel, it's so brilliantly written and has such a breathtaking plot that makes it very compulsive reading.  Honestly, you will not be able to put it down!

The storyline has three distinct voices and they all come across so clearly, it's almost like the reader can hear the characters' thoughts.  Mummy wants a child so badly that she snatches one while the mother is distracted, Kim is the distraught mother who shoulders the blame for losing her daughter and Tonya is the little girl taken from her family and thrust into the middle of this nightmare.

The three main characters are so vivid and multi-dimensional, they really struggled to stay on the page and I felt like I could have reached in and touched them (and I can just hear Tonya saying: “Get off me, you!”).  I adored Tonya, a five year old who is larger than life and such a feisty character.  I felt so sorry for Kim, who seemed to always find herself on the wrong side of public opinion and I got so mad at how people are quick to judge others, especially when they can hide behind their screen.  As for Mummy, she's like a simmering pot that is about to boil over.  As we get to know these characters, we see their worries, dreams and motivations and I love how Tina Baker gives us this 360 degree view.

Equal parts horrifying and mesmerising, Tina Baker's impressive debut is nothing short of exceptional; the writing is stunning, honest, provocative and often surprisingly witty.  Call Me Mummy is without doubt a five star read and I really can't recommend it highly enough - just buy it, you won't regret it.  To emulate a famous retailer renowned for quality: "This is not just a child abduction novel, this is a Tina Baker child abduction novel."  When other adjectives just won't do, I have to say it's fan-flipping-tastic!

I was gifted an ebook from the publisher, Viper Books, via NetGalley and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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