Published by Viper on 25 Feb 2021
Genres: Child Abduction, Infertility, Psychological Thriller, Thriller
Source: Purchased Book
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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 little foul-mouthed Tonya is not the daughter that Mummy was hoping for.
Meanwhile Kim is demonised by the media as a 'scummy mummy', who deserved to lose Tonya and ought to have her other children taken too. Haunted by memories of her own childhood and refusing to play by the media's rules, she 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...
Call Me Mummy was my second Tina Baker novel, and it will not be my last. Had me on the precipice of tears and rage all the way through.
Call Me Mummy. Mummy. That’s all I hear all day, every day, or at least a variant of it. Mummy – especially when they’re after something, usually mum. Mum, get me a snack, help me with homework, where’s the clean clothes. Never had the name had such negative connotations. Tina Baker has somehow made the word have an entirely different meaning.
Take the ingredients of a thriller. Complex characters, unreliable narrators, a tense atmosphere just to name a few. I’m used to these roads, they’re familiar, the landmarks a comfort. But when it comes to the topic of infertility, it feels like I’d been thrown in the boot of Baker’s car and gagged to stop me from shouting. I felt those topics right in the chest. I’ve been able to have 3 gorgeous boys but I’m also going through the perimenopause at the tender age of 36. I feel like I’ve had the decision for more children ripped away from me. It feels like an injustice and so Call Me Mummy was a real tearjerker for me.
Apparently, I can read about serial killers on the rampage and home intruders with ease but give me a storyline with infertility or child loss and I am absolutely ruined.
The ending left my mouth agape…
The story is told in multi POVs, Mummy, Kim, and Tonya. Kim is a woman that is both hugely unlikeable but on the same hand you can’t help feeling sorry for her. Her child is snatched in broad daylight while out shopping. The onslaught of media frenzy surrounding it paints Kim as a loud mouthed, scummy mummy. Images are caught of her smoking and the publics minds are made up on what kind of mother she is.
Tonya is the girl that is taken. I liked her, a lot. She doesn’t take what ‘Mummy’ demands of her. These were the scenes that really broke me. Imagine being in that situation. You are ripped away from everything you know, into a home that is alien to you.
Mummy is the woman who takes Tonya. She honestly feels like she was doing the girl a kindness by taking her away from that ‘foul mother.’ She very quickly discovers that it isn’t all that easy being a mother. You are faced with disagreements, temper tantrums and fussy eating. Mummy quickly descends into her own hell, her madness bubbling up from the inside. She likes a drink, and something really awful has happened to her husband…
Author of Call Me Mummy
Tina Baker, the daughter of a window cleaner and fairground traveller, worked as a journalist and broadcaster for thirty years and is probably best known as a television critic for the BBC and GMTV. After so many hours watching soaps gave her a widescreen bum, she got off it and won Celebrity Fit Club. She now avoids writing-induced DVT by working as a Fitness Instructor.
Call Me Mummy is Tina’s first novel, inspired by her own unsuccessful attempts to become a mother. Despite the grief of that, she’s not stolen a child – so far. But she does rescue cats, whether they want to be rescued or not.