Three friends, three single mums, one quest to find love…
It’s 8:30am and I’m already utterly exhausted. My son has lost his football boots, my daughter is ready for school dressed only in her vest and knickers, and of course, my 1-year-old has filled his nappy for what feels like the tenth time this morning.
As for my husband? He’s decided marriage doesn’t suit him, and well… buggered off.
All hope of ‘me time’ has but dwindled to sipping half a glass of wine whilst shouting after the kids. But everything is about to change.
I’m taking control of my life! I’ve joined… a book club.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wow… live a little.’ But my fellow book clubbers, Amanda and Janey, are my lifelines. They understand the daily struggle because they’re mothers too.
And in between the prosecco, Doritos and googling everything about Mr Darcy on SparkNotes, they’ve convinced me to go on a date with my boss.
A single mum of three looking for romance… what could possibly go wrong?
Inspiration for The Single Mums’ Book Club
Like many of you, I watched Boris’ speech last year, when he asked businesses and schools to close their doors and not reopen them, with shock, worry, sadness and if I’m honest, a little bit of excitement. I mean, it was unheard of, in my lifetime at least (although my nanna did say it was worse than the blitz because she could still go to the cinema and in a pub back then) and I think I went into some sort of survival mode; home-schooling, home-cooking, home-making — I basically became a Stepford housewife overnight. I made sure we went out and clapped for our carers, enjoying those five minutes of seeing other humans and I always had a daily, local walk planned (we found every snicket in our village). But, it didn’t last long. My well-intentioned ‘mummy learning time’ was not well-received by the younger folk in our house, I soon got bored of baking and tackling the endless cycle of cleaning and I missed going on days out. We were fortunate in that my children’s school implemented Zoom lessons early on, so that gave me the chance to write and we soon found our family balance again. The children bickered less because they were finally out of each other’s pockets, the walks were fun again because they were an afterschool family treat and I didn’t have to ram unwelcome fronted adverbial clauses down anyone’s throat. More importantly, the shops started to get flour back in, so we had a new family activity to partake in — making terrible cakes.
Spending so long with my family in such a confined environment was certainly different. We’re the family who always had something on. We have to say no to clubs because the children want to do them all and we can go weeks without having a weekend to ourselves. It really was like hitting the pause button; it gave us time to just be a family and nothing else and for that, I’ll always cherish that first lockdown. We watched movies together, built things, muddled through giant jigsaws, downloaded TikTok and did the challenges, chopped down a huge holly bush and went exploring. More importantly, we talked and laughed together. The saddest thing about this is, we could have been doing it all along, so it was a bit of an eye opener. The inspiration for The Single Mums’ Book Club sort of came from there. It’s about a character who is doing her best whilst experiencing the ups and downs of parenthood and learning to appreciate and make the most of what she’s got.
Everyone had a rough time through lockdown for many unique reasons and the scope of suffering was on such a broad scale that experiences differed greatly. I think it brought out the best in a lot of people and whilst the book is not set during the Covid-19 crisis, I wanted to highlight how kind people can be when there are others in need.
Thank you, Victoria Cooke and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.
Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018 and her debut, The Secret fo Falling in Love was optioned in 2020.
Social Media Links
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Single-Mums-Book-Club-hilarious/dp/0008376239/ref=sr_1_1?crid=33S5H1D84KAS5&dchild=1&keywords=the+single+mums+book+club&qid=1619636035&sprefix=the+single+mum%2Caps%2C170&sr=8-1