Call Me Mummy
'Totally absorbing' - Lorraine Kelly
by Tina Baker
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 25 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 25 Feb 2021
Average rating from 180 members
Oh my!! this book was completely harrowing but drew me into the story that much that I have read it in one go! As a mother myself, some parts were very disturbing but I still had the need for ( what could possibly happen next). The style of writing appealed to me, as enjoy short chapters! I think the ending was expected but unexpected in equal measures... I’m pleased to have given up my Sunday evening for this book!
I was blown away with this powerful novel. I liked the way there were no chapters but the story was told by multiple people, it made me want to keep reading. There are a few sensitive issues that I think people could find relatable. I felt as though I could relate to it, and I know I am not alone. The book deals with post natal depression, IVF, mental health and physical health issues. Kim is the mother of Tonya who goes missing and Mummy is the other woman (Tonya calls her that), that sees Tonya and decides to take her. The book concentrates on Motherhood and Childlessness and is written superbly. A story that will stay with me for a long time and I couldn't believe it was a debut, I look forward to see what Tina writes about next.
I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest unedited feedback. This book is definitely a page turner and from page one I was hooked. Completely drawn In to the book with 2 different mothers that also have so many similarities. And just when you think you've got it, it has more layers in the story and turns. Definitely would recommend
Firstly a big thank you to viper books for my copy to review on netgalley. Ive been eager to read this so was very excited to finally have the opportunity . Another great publication from viper! A fantastic debut. The title the cover the striking colours are going to jump out to readers. This jumps straight into action . Tense ,thrilling and exciting We get inside her head which is an experience! As a mum also its incredibly chilling! Plotted and layered with expertise . This is destined to reel you in and have you hooked! Guaranteed bestseller and one you will be hearing lots about! Im looking forward to seeing what comes next and wish her every success! Published 25th February 2021.
What a wonderfully written book. It explores a lot of mental health avenues and delivers the content well. It is highly engaging and nicely done. It is definitely a book to recommend to anyone who is suffering with such issues.
Call Me Mummy holds no prisoners from the start, the prologue-esque first chapter gripped me and made me hold my breath as we are a fly on the wall watching our character 'Mummy' spotting a young girl who she feels deserves a more loving home. As a parent, isn't that the ultimate fear?! The beginning of Call Me Mummy, as well as some chapters throughout will make you feel like you've been drawn into a psychological thriller but you'll also be hypnotised by the literary fiction aspect that is also tied into the storyline. Firstly, let's talk the characters - the plotline is mainly a dual one that flicks between Mummy and Kim, the mother whose child has been taken, with random interludes from Tonya, the five year old child. The two 'mothers' are the sides of motherhood, one that is accepted by society and then there's the one who is judged by the way she mothers - the organic raw meals vs the openly frustrated parent. I found that this parallel conception of motherhood opens up the reader to explore the meaning of what they define as being a mother while also uncovering their own prejudices towards those who don't necessarily 'do it' their way. It is this type of writing that edges the novel into the literary fiction genre, Tina has placed so many aspects underneath the microscope, allowing the reader to pull their own ideas from her given words. You've noticed that I've not used the terms protagonist and antagonist, you'd think that the individual who has taken a child would be an evil monster, but while reading through the chapters, you can't help but sympathise with 'Mummy', she is a woman of childbearing age who is desperate for her own child and although this is not an acceptable action, to take another woman's child, as her haunting childhood is spotlighted on, you can't help but understand on some level. Then we have the complete opposite in life of Mummy, we have Kim, who again has a past, one that has left her with all her walls up - even around her own children. When the reports begin that Tonya is missing, what Kim experiences from the public is not okay! If you take anything away from this book, I think it'll be the understanding to not judge another mother because you really don't know what is going on in her life. Why is she frustrated? Maybe ask if she is okay, or needs help instead of passing your judgement. Okay, so that's the literary fiction elements touched upon! Although this book is emotive, raw and stunningly written, that doesn't mean that there is no psychological thriller squeezed into these pages because there is. When a child goes missing, you watch it on the news, you may even know the parents, or someone connected. It's a rippling explosion and even reading about it chilled me to the bone, the psychological impact of both women is shocking, gripping and at times quite haunting. It's the kind of psychological thriller that will bury underneath your skin, one that will have you attached with heart and mind. Call Me Mummy is a must read, you're all going to absolutely love it and be blown away that it is a debut! Phenomenal!
Harrowing Beautiful Tale. The prose in this book is so gorgeous that it's almost like reading poetry. The writing so pacey and taut that at times, whilst reading, I had to physically slow down and take a breath. You just can't help racing through it. The writing style is beautifully descriptive yet blunt. There are some truly wonderful phrases. The book portrays realistic characters, and there are no punches spared. I recognized a few people myself. The main story focuses on two women, worlds apart socially, but both badly damaged by their pasts. And an innocent child who is taken. It is horrific in parts but also stunningly brave. Other characters are dispersed throughout and they also have strong voices. The use of social media as a vehicle for demonisation was executed well. Highly Recommended
READ THIS IF... you’re into page turners, stories about motherhood, and unreliable/alcoholic narrators. THE STORY... When Kim looks away from her daughter in a crowded shop, ‘Mummy’ seizes the opportunity to have a child of her own. All she wants is for her new daughter to call her Mummy. I WAS... captivated by this book! I loved the split narrative between ‘Mummy’, Kim, and the daughter, and my favourite part of the novel had to be the characterisation, as I got a real sense of who each character was. I especially enjoyed Kim’s narration as I was often laughing out loud at the way she thought about things. The book asked so many questions about what it means to be a parent, and left the answer up to the reader, which is something I really enjoy in fiction. My only criticism would be that it felt rushed at parts - the author would refer to 5 weeks having passed and I hadn’t really got that sense from the narrative. However this didn’t detract from the main appeal of the story. NOW... I would definitely recommend everyone to preorder this. I can see myself reading this again in future, and would read anything else by Tina Baker.
Wow.... I am still reeling from this book. Shock, anger and fear are thrust full force into your face. How attitudes of society towards people (woman) who are on the lower social circles when something terrifying as a kidnapping happens and how we as that society treat them with contempt and disgust and blame for something that could so easily happen to anyone.... but because it has happened to someone who we feel has “let” it happen we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that we are fine and just she isn’t. This really makes you see the other side of the coin too, how the kidnapper is and what makes her act like that. And you also grow to see the child not only as a victim but a fighter too. This is a brilliant hard hitting and thought provoking novel and one which is so needed now.
If it were possible to rate this book any higher I would! 10/5 Stars for this breathtaking, heart pounding, exhilarating and horrifying read. Hands up, I have a confession... I admit that once I requested this book I was putting off reading it. Not because it didn’t intrigue me, but more because I didn’t want to be let down. But I was wrong to doubt... so wrong! This book is incredibly well written. Tina chooses to tell this book from the 1st person, flicking between MUMMY, KIM and TONYA and this just makes for such a compelling read. Focused entirely on these three females this book is so much more than a book of abduction. It’s about family and love... to me, this book says you can have everything and yet have nothing if you are incapable of love. Love for yourself, love for others, love for those you don’t even know. MUMMY is not a nice person. She was, when she was a child but her childhood does not excuse her insanity and cruelty. Every time it was MUMMY’S turn in the spotlight I felt a rush of excitement as this was core to finding out if TONYA was okay. Over the course of the book I developed a slight Stockholm syndrome after spending so much time in her thoughts and memories. But it didn’t stop me feeling physically sick in her company. My own daughter would personally like to thank MUMMY for her aid in getting her so many snacks and treats over the past 24 hours! KIM is openly is hated and vilified by everyone in the book. I never felt that instant hate when I met her but I can see how her actions really didn’t help her! I couldn’t help hurting for her, especially after learning why she is such a tough cookie. It was awful seeing her ‘fall’ and knowing there was no one who was noticing because her mask is so thick. TONYA probably gets the least spotlight to sound her own voice in this book. But when she does her account of her time with MUMMY it doesn’t always add up to MUMMY’S at first I found this confusing but I think it’s because she’s only 5 and at that age their concept of time and reality is mixed up with fantasy. This has to be one of the best books I’ve read all year (number 72 for 2020)!! So much so I’m genuinely considering flicking back to the beginning to read it all again. For those who don’t read to the very last page. Even if you dislike Crime Fiction, even if you don’t want to read this book... YOU MUST BUY IT! 10% of all proceeds go to Action For Children. So there’s no reason not to buy this amazing read and if you somehow end up picking it up to find out what the fuss is about then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Huge thanks to NetGalley for my advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Wow... It's bleak but totally compelling and peppered with enough dark humour to get through the horror and sadness of it. Tense, twisted and totally unputdownable. The desperation of both Kim and the unnamed 'Mummy' leaks through the pages. Shocking and brilliant, and I adored the writing style.
This novel is highly engaging and thoroughly entertaining! I found myself being stucked into Mummy's narrative every time - it's dark and full of black humour as well as being very disturbing. It's very much a 'I don't want to keep reading, but I need to' type novel. Some people will struggle with the themes, but great writing evokes emotion and this is an expertly crafted read. Call Me Mummy is a strong debut novel which hits hard and is extremely thought provoking throughout. It's highly original too - I've never read anything like it. I enjoyed the writers experimental narrative (with the links to social media accounts) and I'll definitely look out for Tina Baker novels in the future. Huge thank you to Netgalley and Viper for this ARC. I will also be discussing/reviewing this novel on the @writing_show.