Call Me Mummy by Tina Baker – Review – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

CALL ME MUMMY. IT’LL BE BETTER IF YOU DO.

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…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like this book before. Call Me Mummy concerns the abduction of a young girl whilst her mother was distracted whilst shopping. The reader knows instantly who has taken her but only by the name mummy. Nothing about her real identity is ever revealed and I got more wrong than right trying to decide who she was and why she had done it.

Most of the novel is dual narrative from mummy and Kim, Tonya’s real mother, Kim is portrayed honestly and at first it was difficult to like her. Obviously troubled, lacking in social skills and at times her own worst enemy. But it was evident what pain and guilt she was experiencing and with only her husband Steve and best friend Ayesha to rely on. The level of hatred shown towards her by the press and social media was dreadful. There was no support for the family at all, their judges all liked to think that they were better than this devastated family. 

Whilst it was difficult to warm to Kim it was even harder to have any liking at all for mummy. Even though I had a lot of sympathy for her as the details of her childhood were revealed I still found it hard not to judge her.

There were brief paragraphs that were narrated by Tonya. Despite what she was going though these often made me smile. Her attitude and way of talking were proof that children hear everything and reading her thoughts on her captor were very honest and a little sweary. 

Even though I read a lot of crime fiction this is probably one of the most real in the way it describes a family going through the worst type of hell. Facing hatred and suspicion, being watched and hot knowing what has happened  to their child.

Tina Baker will be appearing at First Monday Crime on Monday 10th May at 7.30pm alongside Phoebe Morgan, Marion Todd and James Delargy. The moderator will be William Shaw. You can follow via their Facebook page. 

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