Cover Image: More Than Just Mum

More Than Just Mum

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Member Reviews

If you are looking for a fun and entertaining read that will make you laugh (even on a train full of people that then turn to look at you in a weird way, true story!) then you should pick up Not Just A Mum, the fantastic debut novel by Rebecca Smith.

The protagonist is Hannah Thompson, in her forties, married, three children (two teenagers and one adorable ten-year-old boy), a biology teacher turned into an English teacher to a class of students who are more interested in pulling each other’s chairs than in learning about George Orwell. She is a voracious reader and aspiring author and she decides to start writing erotica, but sex scenes are hard to write when she blushes just thinking about them…

As much as her work life is far from dull, her family life is even more noisy and interesting: her oldest son, Dylan, spends a lot of time alone in his room “revising for the exams” with his new girlfriend; her daughter Scarlet wants to change her name to Scarlett with two tt, she wants the fridge full of cucumbers, and she has her own ideas about feminism; luckily, her ten-year-old son Benji is still innocent and all he wants to do is play. And then, there is her husband, Nick, supportive, always ready to help and experimenting new positions to help Hannah write her erotica book.

As I mentioned, I laughed, a lot! Hannah is hilarious… she is one of these characters that it’s always likable and engaging, even her classes often take a fun turn. The story is told from her point of views so I sympathized with her as she tried to control a class of hormonal teenagers, as she struggled with her children growing up, and as she tried to find a new path in her life that satisfies her.

Not Just A Mum is so well-written that I was surprised to learn that it’s a debut novel. Captivating, refreshing, and riveting, it’s a book I will keep recommending!!!
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I can't remember the last time I laughed so much reading a book. From the very first page to the last this novel was absolutely hilarious and so real. And what surprised me most that I was not able to guess where this story was heading at. The book features the day to day life of Hannah Thompson who is struggling with . . . well, practically everything.
     Rebecca Smith for sure is a gifted writer finding humour even in tragic situations. If you are a mother, you are going to find yourself in here. If you are a daughter like me, then you will feel a new appreciation for your working moms. If you are a teacher (again like me), you are going to find a comrade here, exclaiming loudly "Yes, that's what it feels like" (mimicking Loki of course).
        Hannah is your everyday mother trying hard to make ends meet with her part-time teaching job. At school, she is tortured by her class nine children and back at home, she needs to finish this marathon with three children who in my opinion talk too much. Her husband is supportive and helpful, but sometimes nothing is enough. Her life, on the whole, is pitiful and at the same time, outrageously funny.
       So pick this book to lighten up your moods and if not Hannah, you definitely will like the children; Scarlet with one 't' is my favourite but it is hard to choose. Surely a must-read!
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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 3.5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
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This is a cute story of the life of a Mum and the challenges she  meets each day with her family.  Even  though our family loves us they tend to run us through the wringers.  Hannah Thompson has a teaching job that she doesn't enjoy.  She starts to  look for other jobs that could  pay more since her oldest son is heading to university next year.  
A comedy of how life really is instead of sugar coating it.
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Laugh out loud funny in parts this book was just what I needed. A warm, witty and disturbingly accurate depiction of what it’s like to be a mum of 3, with a great husband, a less than satisfying job and concerns over money. 

Hannah is a part time English teacher, whose eldest son is about to go off to university. Amidst worrying about the additional financial costs, she has a 16 year old daughter asking increasingly more suspicious questions about very specific crimes, a 10 year old with a missing hamster and a class of year 9’s that no one in the entire school wants to be stuck with - it’s no wonder Wine Wednesday’s have become a necessity!

Ah this book was so much fun to read and spoke to me in so many ways. I really felt like I could relate to Hannah and her family. They are dysfunctional and unorganised but I loved that they were shown “warts and all”, from last minute World Book Day costumes to beans on toast for tea. I felt their characters complemented each other perfectly and found their bickering and banter highly amusing. 

As well as being a story about the challenges of life and motherhood, it’s also a story about growth and discovering yourself. Hannah realises there’s more to her than just being mum.

4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (rounded up to 5)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher (Harper Impulse, Killer Reads and One More Chapter) for providing a copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own and provided willingly.
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I loved this book, it was a real laugh out loud read. It was good to read about a couple who still had a good relationship even after 20 years and 3 kids. I thought Hannah was hilarious especially when she constantly jumped to the wrong conclusion. I don't want to spoil the book for other readers so I won't give away any of the best lines, suffice to say that there are some really witty one liners. I'll be looking out for this author in the future.
Review posted on Goodreads and Amazon
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When I saw this book and read the synopsis I knew that this was a book I wanted to read. I want to pat my past self on the back because this book was everything I didn’t realise I needed in my life. 

I absolutely loved the Thompson family, especially Hannah who is doing her best juggling everything life throws at her, all the while being unsure about her career and how quickly her children are growing up. The characters were very well developed and honestly had me in hysterics! Their dysfunctional but I wouldn’t have wanted them any other way. 

I feel like this book is one that a lot of people can relate to, no matter what age you are. This book is scarily realistic and relatable in the sense that Hannah is struggling. She makes mistakes, she hasn’t got full control over her life and her teenage children will do whatever they want, no matter what she says. 

This is a book about self-discovery and honestly, after reading this book I felt like I could accomplish anything. I loved Rebecca Smith’s writing style and cannot wait to dive in to any of her future books! So, if you’re looking for a light, funny and relatable book this year then this is the book for you! 

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins – One More Chapter for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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ARC: More Than Just Mum is about Hannah, a mom to three who also works part time as an English teacher. She begins to feel underappreciated and wants a change. In an attempt to find herself she writes a book and sets out to get it published. 

I really enjoyed this book! It was very engaging and I couldn't stop reading. The characters were very developed and well written. It was very easy top picture exactly what was happening and what the characters were doing. 

I highly recommend this book! It is a very light read. I will definitely be buying a copy of this book as Christmas gifts for my friends!
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A great lighthearted book with engaging characters which was an enjoyable and entertaining read. First book I’ve read from this author, I look forward to her next one.
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I always save the best for last and this was THE BEST!!
Kudos, to all those moms like self pulling double duty and YES - even those who are married with hard working husbands.
Look - Life is flawed with plenty of ups & downs but the ride- OH the SWEET Ride! IS WORTH EVERY PENNY!
Sure, I'm from the life of 'Hard Knocks' so relating to this was not hard for me and based on reviews we've all been there and done that with many of us getting the award (divorce, bankruptcy, homelessness, and zero income plus no assets nor income and certainly no savings or even credit).
Yes, I'd love to say this book was taken from my life but it was ...LOL!
No seriously allow me and every woman working her butt off while child rearing to sound off.
This is a laugh at loud comedy, a sad affair with fiction, and a memoir of our lives all wrapped into one.
Hannah is my gal! The one with dreams, with ambition, with goals -if only they were plugged into reality.
Dylan her eldest along with Scarlett her 16 yo and her youngest Benji are all part of this plan to be more than just a "MUM."
I digress for a split second here- because this is exactly what society needs to understand along with our legal system.
When I divorced it was written in my master's report that I was just a 'mom'.
Sure I'm a mom but that's not all of the story as I also have the same Masters my ex spouse has. I also have high honors and numerous honor societies. I have over 20 yrs not being paid but unpaid working aka volunteering with over 13 nonprofits.
My work was never PAID!
My work like many women out there is on full display and we wear it all proudly.
Our scars on our bodies from having kids and sadly many of us from being abused are worn like badges of honor !
As women we need to stay united on this front! We need to support one another! We need to know we are not ever ALONE!
Keep up the good work LADIES!...
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Meet Hannah Thompson, 43-year-old mother and part-time English teacher. She wants to be more than just mum and she wants a job she actually likes. So she tries to write a realistic romance novel. She tries. And that's it. That's the book.

Weird pacing, forgettable characters and an utterly forgettable plot. Insofar as there is a plot, because nothing happens in this book. I think it's supposed to be funny, but the humour is so forced that it misses the mark completely. Maybe it's me. Maybe this book would be funny to me if I were the forty-something mother of three ungrateful and irritating children and I had a husband who never really seems to be involved with any household chores or raising the kids. Maybe then it would be a funny book.

There were a few loose plot threads concerning the two eldest children that could've turned this story around, but unfortunately they were ignored.
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More Than Just Mum is a book for mothers everywhere. If you're feeling lost among the reams of demands for fundraising and school events, your teens are driving you crazy or your little ones are running you ragged, not to mention your love life is a little stale and your job doesn't fulfil you anymore, this is for you. It's believable, well written and laugh out loud funny.
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More Than Just Mum, Rebecca Smith

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  General Fiction (Adult)

This is classic chic lit style, humour, pathos and a good dollop of real life. I so identified with Hannah at times. I too have been wife, mother, auntie, daughter and somewhere in the middle of that Jeannie, Me, was submerged. You have to fight to keep that, and Hannah's trying hard, but life has the habit of throwing spanners just when you think you're getting somewhere. 

Having said that I struggled with this at times. The beginning almost had me giving up, it felt too much like forced humour and I just hate that. Certain parts had me thinking of a mental visual from the old TV game shows “Clap Now!!” It seemed to be written for the purpose of humour, rather than the humour falling naturally from the content. I stuck with it though and that side of things certainly improved for me, I had tears from laughing at some parts, having been through very similar. Bringing up teens is one of life's Big Experiences, and its laugh or cry many days. Laughing is better....aided by wine of course.

What really brought this down though was for me it lacked focus. I felt there were lots of little side issues that cropped up but went nowhere, and there wasn't really an overarching plot that ran the course of the novel. It seemed more a series of little ones that sometimes were completed, but more often just left hanging.  I wasn't really sure where the story was going, and TBH it just felt like I was reading a few months from a typical family life. Works for some of course, but for me I needed that main plot, needed to know what was the point of the novel, where was the story going. As it didn't have that, the ending felt a little flat. Yes, one biggish plot gets wrapped up but so much was just left unfinished. 

Stars: Three, a fun read, and some parts really made me smile, snigger, reminded me of my time with teen and preteen kids, but overall for me it felt a little lacking in direction. 

Arc via Netgalley and publishers
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More Than Just Mum follows 43 year old part-time English teacher and mother of three, Hannah Thompson. She is fed up with teaching a subject that wasn't her specialty and parenting teenagers so she tries to reinvent herself. Channelling her inner E.L. James, she attempts to write a Fifty Shades-esque book.

Although the book is funny in parts, I felt like it just trundled along and there was no real chase or climax.
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How fun- someone wrote a book about me and my life! And even funnier, I noticed from other reviews about this book, that the reviewers all thought the book was about them, as well. What does this say about being a wife and mother, daughter, friend and teacher?! 

Apparently as main character British Hannah Thomas moans, “We are not living our best lives.” Hannah decides that she wants to begin a new chapter in her life, a life where she is the star. But first, she has to make beans on toast for tea, keep the felt-tip markers away from her English class, rush her 10-year-old’s hamster to the vet and make sure her two teenagers are on an even keel, because it’s horrible when an Instagram post doesn’t have enough likes. Can Hannah make it to Fizzy Friday?

This book is enjoyable, relatable, witty and fun. As an English teacher, Hannah is used to enduring the “slings and arrows” of daily life. The author describes Hannah’s life so well and makes the humdrum details of daily living come alive. Hannah keeps trying, and is supported by her rather clueless but nice husband who means well, her girlfriend, her work colleagues, and her chirpy mother.  

Hannah does indeed come up with a plan for her life- but will it work? Treat yourself. Why don’t you grab this book, head to a steaming bubble bath, lock the door and read this book! After you are done laughing, you may want to work on your own life plan.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Impulse and Killer Reads, and One More Chapter for an ARC. This is my honest opinion.
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What's not to like?

Hannah Thompson is a woman - so am I
She is a wife - yup, same here
A mother - *nods* I've got 2 kids, a fur baby and two feathered ones, she has 3 children and a dog
A teacher - yes, yet another similarity!
An aspiring author - yet another similarity
Has a hubby who is quietly supportive of her dreams but doesn't always get the support quite right - check!
Works part time - no... alas I am a full time teacher, wife, mother and wannabe writer!

Oh my God, if this woman had only 2 children, and worked a couple more days a week, this book might just have been my life!

Hannah is feeling the pressure. 
She has one child about the fly the nest, off to university, one teen who is keeping her on her toes with the company she keeps and the questions she asks and a young not quite tween, who is inquisitive and has a pet hamster which causes his own grief.

Working three days a week (not by choice), Hannah knows that the money isn't exactly flowing into their bank accounts, and they have a child to send off to uni imminently, and the thought of having to finance two more is, quite frankly terrifying... and her headteacher is not keen to give her a full-time contract.

Until she has the bright idea to write a book on her days off.

Will her head have a change of heart and increase her hours?
Will she finish this book or not?
Will she find a way to publish?

Well, you know I'm not going to tell you. What I will say is that it was a fantastically funny book. I was able to relate to so much of it, and Hannah's life echoes that of many working mothers out there.

Definitely one I recommend!
Many thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for an Arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved it. A proper laugh out loud book about being a parent. I can relate as I've a 16 year old daughter and a son who is uni and boy he couldn't do anything when he left. Shows the stresses of being mum. I really hope there is another to follow this one.
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Brilliant book. I loved this as it was so funny and relatable. Full of laugh out loud moments and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope there’s a second in the series!
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This hilarious look at the everyday life of a mum who wishes she could be something more than a mum, really tickled me! It’s written in a light and funny way but there are serious undertones to it. Lots of mums lose their own persona - if this is you, read this book and be inspired!!
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Hannah Thompson is a mother of three and a part-time English teacher, due to cuts in the science department budget which led to her job as a Biology teacher being redundant. Her eldest child Dylan is soon off to University, her middle child Scarlet (note the single 't') is asking rather suspicious about specific crimes and her youngest child Benji is the butt of all his older siblings' humour. When Hannah and her husband Nick work out how much money they will need to give Dylan for living expenses when he starts university they know they desperately need more money - but how can Hannah earn some extra cash?

This has all the hallmarks of the scummy mummy genre of novels. Humorous insights into real life families where there's no clean washing, Wine Wednesday is a real thing, children are by turns whiney and argumentative, life is a series of forgotten World Book Day costumes, part-time mum serving kids take-aways etc. Normally I quite enjoy those kind of novels but for some reason this didn't resonate with me, and I don't really know why. Maybe it's because I felt that Hannah wasn't really doing much of anything, half-heartedly teaching and half-heartedly parenting - I didn't get the feeling that she was overwhelmed by too much, just disorganised and lazy.

Overall, I enjoyed it but there seemed to be too many loose plot ends that never went anywhere: Dylan and Zoe, Scarlet's questions, Zoe's mysterious online boyfriend etc. Maybe I've got holiday brain and missed these stories being resolved but it just felt like this book ran out of steam and just went ... The End.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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