Over the weekend, I finished reading 'Pedigree Mum'.
The cover was a light-hearted frothy affair showing a slim young mum trying to control a bearded collie type dog, whilst in the background three mums on podiums looked on, with their perfect pooches behaving.
From this and the blurb on the back of the book, you'd be forgiven for thinking this book is all about dogs. It isn't.
Yes, there's a dog in it and a few times he does run off, but then he's never been taught recall.
The main thrust of the book is the story of Kerry and Rob, two people who were happily married and looking forward to moving from London to the coast.
Rob stays behind in the London flat to sell it, gets madly drunk on his 40th and does something incredibly stupid. What happens to Kerry and Rob next comprises the main body of the book. There are many other elements. Buddy the dog is just one of those elements. Children, clowns, lighthouses, piano lessons, posh mums, the magazine industry and posh eateries are more elements.
Fiona Gibson writes beautifully in an easy to read style. If you think from the cover that it will all be light and fluffy, you'd be so very wrong.
Maestros in any art form make their craft look easy - and that's what Fiona does here. Because the book was so easy to read, you could easily miss the great depth of understanding there is for each of the characters. It would have been easy to write one of these characters as a villain, instead of which, for those who read mindfully, we read of the turmoil underneath the surface. The possible villain is shown to be someone who is only too human, with all the capabilities humans have for mistakes, contrition, denial and valiant effort.
I shan't give away the ending of the book, in case some of you decide to read it, but it was a good ending, a realistic ending.
Picking up this book, I expected no more than an escapist bit of fun, which most times I thoroughly enjoy reading. Pedigree mum, despite its cover - gave me so much more!
Beautifully written by Fiona. Highly recommended by me.