Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Book review: The Mummyfesto by Linda Green

My edition: Paperback, published on 14 February 2013 by Quercus, 457 pages.

Description: When Sam, Jackie and Anna successfully campaign to save their children's school lollipop lady, they are asked by a TV reporter if they fancy standing in the general election.

It is, of course, a crazy idea: Sam's youngest son has an incurable disease, Jackie is desperate for another child and her mum is struggling with Alzheimers, Anna's teenagers - and marriage - are in danger of going off the rails.

But sometimes the craziest ideas turn out to be the best. And just think what they could do if they got to run the country...


Rating:

 

The Mummyfesto is a powerful and inspirational novel that forces people to not just complain, as they so often do, about the unfairness of politics but to actually stand up for their beliefs and change the world for the better.

Sam's youngest son suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy and when the children's hospital she works for faces yet more cutbacks she wants to fight for the hospital so it can continue to help the children and their families.

Anna is a counsellor for troubled teenagers yet when her eldest daughter is severely bullied she finds it much harder to deal with the implications on her already introvert child. She wants to make a difference by grabbing the problem at its core and making schools entirely bully free.

Jackie divides her time between caring for her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and is prone to wandering the streets in a confused state, and trying for another baby with her husband in a desperate attempt to give her only child a brother or sister.

When the lollipop lady, a woman who helps the children safely cross the road, at the local school is at risk of losing her job because of cutbacks the three women start a campaign to show the politicians that nothing is more important to them than the safety of their children. Their campaign is a roaring success and quickly evolves into something much bigger. The Lollipop Party is born.

Anna, Jackie and Sam become the voice of the vulnerable people; children, the elderly and those with disabilities. These people are often the ones who need help the most but because they lack a strong voice they're also the ones who are quickly forgotten and are the first to suffer when the government decides to cut back on funding.

The women's love for their children is what gives them the strength to stand up for what they believe in and truly make a difference. Their passion and determination on their journey paints an inspirational picture to the reader. These women don't have a political degree or decades of experience working for the government to fall back on, but what they do have is compassion. They see the fundamental issues within our society and decide to actually change them. By voicing their concerns and standing up for what they believe in they inspire others to do the same in their own localities. Their sometimes unconventional yet highly sufficient ideas ripple like a breath of fresh of air through the dusty corridors of the government.

By creating these inspirational characters and touching upon difficult subjects such as taking care of a child with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, author Linda Green in turn is also an inspiration to the reader. After finishing The Mummyfesto I found I had not only read a beautifully moving story but I too felt the urge to stand up and make a difference. If we would just change some of the issues touched upon within the novel we'd be living in a much more caring world than we are now.



Many thanks to Quercus for a review copy of the novel!

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