Monday, 17 February 2014
Diary of an Unsmug Married by Polly James
What happens to love when life gets in the way?
A funny and perceptive book about real relationships. Perfect for fans of Dawn French, Sue Townsend and Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Meet Molly Bennett. Married to Max and mother to two warring teenagers, she’s just ‘celebrated’ a significant birthday. Bridget Jones would call Molly a “smug married”. So why doesn’t she feel it?
Is it because everyone seems to be having a better time of it than her? Or is it that Max has started showing more interest in ‘business trips’ and less interest in their sex life? Molly begins to despair. And then an old school friend starts flirting with her through Facebook …
After reading this book I have decided that Molly Bennett has the worst job in the world. Employed as a senior caseworker for back bench labour MP Andrew Sinclair in his local constituency she is neither appreciated or paid well for the work she does. Molly goes out of her way to help his constituents who have genuine problems,but when the nutcases walk through the office door she hears the tune to The Twilight Zone playing in her head.
There is no security in the office and life becomes very threatening which seems to go over the head of boss Andrew. It is not helped by Andrew signing a shotgun licence for one of the nutters.
Home life is not running smoothly for Molly as she thinks her husband has the hots for sexy next door neighbour Ellen. On top of that her sister is driving her mad complaining about their father and his love interests in Thailand. Molly can't find the time to question her husband about their love life (or lack of it) between her job and driving her accident prone son back and forward to casualty and sorting out fights between him and his sister,just a normal family really.
I'm not usually too keen on a book written in diary format but I forgot quite soon that I was reading diary entries as the story flowed so smoothly. I loved the character of Molly and really wanted her to change her job as it was so depressing for her even although it gave me the funniest of moments.
One that sticks out for me is when Molly and her co-worker Greg are watching their boss, Andrew on Prime Minister's Questions via the office computer. They notice Andrew slouching further and further into his seat and his eyes closing. Molly texts him to tell him to sit up and at the same time they are fielding phone calls from irate people complaining that Andrew is falling asleep in the house of Commons.
We don't find out until the end whether Molly was right or wrong about her husband Max having an affair but there are plenty of laughs along the way. One of them being an old flame from Molly's schooldays who gets in touch via Facebook, he wants to meet up with her, he looks like Vladimir Putin (which should have put her off) but he is now director of a global oil company (rich).
Will Molly have an affair of her own? Will her husband leave her? Will her dad ever act his age? Will her boss ever appreciate her?
All those questions are eventually answered but not before lots of misunderstandings and some hilarious escapades. I think this debut novel by Polly James is a jolly good read. You might shed some tears but they will be the result of laughter.
Polly James started writing about Molly Bennett on an online blog which later devoped into her first book. She is now writing another which will also feature Molly and her family.
Polly's blog is here
Diary of an Unsmug Married Amazon.co.uk (kindle) 99p
The Book Depository Paperback, free shipping worldwide