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The Good Enough Mother by Anoushka Beazley

The Blurb On The Back:

The good enough mother.


Gatlin – a leafy, affluent town: Chelsea tractors and ladies who lunch.

However, all is not as it seems. Drea, a most unnatural mother, struggles to find private school fees for her step-daughter Ava after her boyfriend leaves her for another woman.

Watching the yummy mummies she becomes inspired, hatching a daring and criminal plan … unleashing all hell in the quiet town of Gatlin.

Can Drea survive the fallout and the wrath of the PTA? A satirical black comedy about love, motherhood and the human condition.




40-year-old Drea Peiris’s partner, Alex, has left her for a younger woman and life in a chateau in the French countryside. Drea finds herself stuck with responsibility for her elderly Sri Lankan father who has a taste for Tamil pornography and Alex’s 14-year-old daughter, Ava, (from the wife he left for Drea). The problem is that Ava goes to the best fee-paying school in Gatlin and Alex’s new life means he can no longer afford the fees. Drea doesn’t want to put Ava into a state school because she’s thriving with the daughters of Gatlin’s great and good but that means Drea has to find £17,310 and fast.

Drea’s solution is to carry out armed robberies on Gatlin’s wealthier women but someone takes advantage of the atmosphere of fear that Drea’s created to start killing Gatlin’s great and good. With the handsome detective constable Rodman investigating the murders and a load of hot jewellery in need of fencing, the last thing Drea needs is for Ava to start making friends with the daughters of the women she robbed, women who are keen for Drea to get more involved in the PTA …

Anoushka Beazley’s debut novel is a satirical black comedy with some sharp observations about the wealthy upper classes and a warm relationship between Drea and Ava but it suffers from being over-written in places, Drea is so erratic that it’s difficult to sympathise with her at times, the developing romance is completely unbelievable and there’s a suicide theme that only comes up when needed to move the plot. I really enjoyed the relationship between Drea and Ava, which is warm and fierce and gave a believable motivation for Drea’s somewhat extreme actions but I wished that the same had been true of Drea and her father (who barely features). Drea herself is such an extreme character (veering from extreme depression to incredible aggression) that I found it difficult to relate to her, but Beazley gives her some sharp one-liners and I enjoyed her caustic observations on Gatlin’s yummy mummies and their pretensions. The attraction between Drea and DC Rodman seems to exist solely to serve the plot and never feels earned and I found the ending rather stretched possibility. All that said though, there’s a lot of potential here that promises good things in future books and I would definitely check out Beazley’s next book.

The Verdict:

Anoushka Beazley’s debut novel is a satirical black comedy with some sharp observations about the wealthy upper classes and a warm relationship between Drea and Ava but it suffers from being over-written in places, Drea is so erratic that it’s difficult to sympathise with her at times, the developing romance is completely unbelievable and there’s a suicide theme that only comes up when needed to move the plot. I really enjoyed the relationship between Drea and Ava, which is warm and fierce and gave a believable motivation for Drea’s somewhat extreme actions but I wished that the same had been true of Drea and her father (who barely features). Drea herself is such an extreme character (veering from extreme depression to incredible aggression) that I found it difficult to relate to her, but Beazley gives her some sharp one-liners and I enjoyed her caustic observations on Gatlin’s yummy mummies and their pretensions. The attraction between Drea and DC Rodman seems to exist solely to serve the plot and never feels earned and I found the ending rather stretched possibility. All that said though, there’s a lot of potential here that promises good things in future books and I would definitely check out Beazley’s next book.
Tags: anoushka beazley, contemporary fiction, humour, satire
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