Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Book Review - Happy Families by Janey Fraser

Title - Happy Families

Author - Janey Fraser

Publisher - Arrow - 28 March 2013

Purchase from Amazon UK // Waterstones // Book Depository

Another literary triumph from author Janey Fraser!
This book sucks you in right from the start. Whether you have children or not you won't fail to enjoy this book. A mixture of ups and downs, happy times and sad times, but also lots of laughs.

Centering around 3 main characters, Bobbie, Vanessa and Andy, you are fully immersed into the pit falls of parenthood; the worries; the trials and tribulations.

I love the way the author writes the book, with each chapter being centred around each of the main characters. Each chapter also often ends on a cliffhanger, leaving you waiting until that characters next chapter comes around again.

The book is full of humour. Especially with the children's characters which are wonderfully written, and they say the most amusing things. You can't help but love them, especially Daisy and Sunshine.

Many people come into contact with the varying characters as their lives unfold and I love the way the author, with her literary expertise, makes all their paths cross towards the end of the book. Whilst reading you think that somewhere along the lines the paths will cross but the book is so well written in that it's not at all predictable, which makes it all the more enjoyable.

I have also read The Au Pair and The Playgroup by the same author and I think this is the best so far, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the other two, especially as I'm normally and "Thrillers & Murder" kind of gal!

Even though some of the characters from The Au Pair are mentioned in this book, you don't have to have read them to enjoy this book as the stories are all new.
Give it a go. Its a great book to chill on the sofa with, alongside a cup of coffee and a cookie.


Janey Fraser is the pen name for journalist Jane Bidder who also writes as Sophie King. You might have read some of her previous novels such as THE SCHOOL RUN and THE WEDDING PARTY which was short listed for Love Story of the Year 2010. Her new book The Honeymoon is due out next year.
For many years, she was a journalist on women’s magazines and until recently, edited the family page of Woman. Now she writes ‘ MUM LIT’ novels about the ups and downs of family life.
The Au Pair by Janey Fraser
Bonjour! Je m’appelle Antoinette Malfille and I am enormously excitable about becoming au pair! I have 19 years of age and have forever desired to visit Angleterre. My hobbies are clubbing and drinking. I tolerate children. I have (almost) forsaken smoking. I am available to work for you until Christmas as I do not pass my Baccalaureate. I await to meet you!
So starts the opening to THE AU PAIR, a romp through the world of foreign bodies and unsuspecting families. Jilly, a harassed mother of three, decides to set up an au pair agency around her kitchen table to help with family finances. Over the Channel, Marie-France signs up for Jilly’s agency in order to search for her English father who’d had a fling with her mother when she’d been an au pair, some twenty years earlier. Then there’s eight year old Lottie who is determined to drive away one au pair after another – until she meets her match. With a cast of characters drawn straight from real life, The Au Pair takes a hilarious look at what happens when an au pair takes over your family.
From the author of The Playgroup a hilarious book about families, au pairs, and the chaos that ensues when the two come together.
The Playgroup by Janey Fraser
Take three adults and mix them with a group of under-fives at Puddleducks Playgroup.
What do you get?
A steaming story about love, envy, laughter and tears. Gemma, the young acting playgroup leader has a secret which could wreck someone else’s life.
Nancy, a panicky first-time mum needs to save her child – and her marriage. Joe, the handsome, moody new head of Reception has to learn some lessons himself before he can pass them onto his class.
Then little Lily, the daughter of a celebrity singer, goes missing and Danny, her small friend is diagnosed with the kind of illness that every parent dreads.
Will they all pull through? All is revealed when Puddleducks Playgroup puts on its annual nativity Christmas play – with an unexpected ending.
There’s lots of fun, humour and romance but, as one reviewer said, ‘it will also make you hold your breath until the last page’.
Contact Janey Fraser here

I was given this book to review by the author. I was not paid for my review and it in no way influenced my review.