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Mum in the Middle

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  45 reviews
She’s feeling the squeeze… The hilarious new novel from the highly-acclaimed author of Prime Time

‘Fresh, funny and wise’ Katie Fforde

Tess has downsized to a lively new town and is ready for “me” time. But her Zen-like calm is tested by her boomerang offspring, who keep fluttering back to the nest (usually with a full bag of dirty washing) and by her elderly mother’s

Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Published June 15th 2018 by HarperImpulse
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  380 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book about Tess in her new life. Lots of moments to make you laugh & cry. Would like to read more by this author.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley, 2018
I loved this book. Tess is looking forward to a bit of empty nest time- but her children seem to keep popping back. Although she loves having her children round not being able to use her own bubble bath can get very wearing!!!!!!!!!

Her new neighbour is transforming her house into a b&b but meeting opposition. She is a quirky character and loved reading about her.

There is a hint of romance with 2 possible suitors and you are keen for Tess to start allowing herself a bit of 'me time'.

Her house is
Tess has left the former marital home in London and bought a run-down house in a rural village where her BFF lives. Now her three children are adults in work or at university she is looking forwards to spending time with friends and not having the smell of take-away food permeating every room of the house.

What she finds is rather different to the idyll she imagined. First, a former TV star lives next door and is renovating a glorious old house in order to run it as a B&B. Second, her mother appe
Susans bookworld
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love the cover, was a bit slow at the beginning but did get more interesting half way through the book would definitely read more by this author
Meg Dean
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid chick lit…doesn’t take itself too seriously! You’ll laugh, cry, and say “Oh! No!” Definitely a fun weekend read :c)
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read! More 'meno-lit' than 'chick-lit'. This novel gallops along at a rip-roaring pace, echoing Tess's chaotic life as she attempts to juggle her three grown up children, a mother with dementia and three love-struck men. ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
"A few short months ago I was bereft not to have my children around me. Now I was a person happy to live alone."

Mum in the middle is a book about Tess. She has three adult children,an aging mother, ex-husband
and an interesting assortment of friends.Tess has just moved from London to Northstone since the last one of her children has moved out. Nortstone is a cozy place and Tess immediately gets new friends. There are some locals who don't like the DFL's, Down From Londoners, because they fear pro
Jun 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
This sounded gorgeous. Feel good, funny and unforgettable.........

Until I got to 5% where the mother has been diagnosed with dementia.

That bloody, vile, horrific illness is NOT FUNNY or 'feel good'

but it bloody well is unforgettable and nightmarish and hideous.

And I DON'T want to keep being reminded.

(and mentioning an elderly mother's struggle to hold onto her independence is NOT a 'tag' about dementia)


I had to stop reading and I will
Nicola Clough
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first book by this author the cover is what attracted me to it and I'm so glad I read it as so funny and well written and very realist to every day life and a very easy read and wanted you reading more straight away. Made you think about your life to very poignant and recommend you read it.
Tess has moved to a new town and downsized as is ready for time for herself with her kids all grown up. Sadly though she is tested as her children keep coming back home after leaving and she's sti
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

Tess has relocated after her divorce to a small village close enough to London and her kids but far enough to rethink her life and start fresh. Her kids are soon descending on her and ruining her peace. Her neighbour is convinced that she is the conspiracy centre for the local troublemakers and Tess has her eye on the local scoundrel!

Ah i loved this read, like Jane's previous books it's full of charm , humour
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A super fun weekend read, with a one of a kind plot. I had my expectations set high for an Alzheimer granny as the main character. However, this book turned out to be more of a chick lit than I expected, which was a relief to say the least.

I absolutely loved the British atmosphere of the whole book, and the whole close-knit society kind of suburbia. Some of the characters were brilliantly depicted and funny. At the same time, the author managed to highlight the emotional struggles of a mom whos
Kerry Ford
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

I just absolutely loved this book. As a mum in her forties with children (although not quite as grown up) I could totally relate to Tess. She has moved to a new town, has a new house, is working from home and is wondering how she will manage now that all her children have left home. Turns out she can’t get rid of them, and add to that some sinister goings on and you have a great read.
It is a story that most women of a certain age will be able to empathise with and I certainly saw massive parts
Dawn Brookes
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: light-romance
On the whole this was an entertaining read with good humour and quite a few laugh out loud moments interspersed throughout. The elderly parent with a debilitating disease, many may find all too real and the inclusion added sober moments but that's how real life is. The fragile 'mum in the middle' grows and develops along with the story, and the grown-up kids who I found mostly irritating developed a little along the way too. All in all this was light, funny and entertaining read and I would reco ...more
Beccy Thompson
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book to review. I’m a huge fan of feel good books and Mum in the Middle ticked the feel good box in spades. It was fabulous to read a book where there was some life story behind the characters. There were parts of the book I laughed out loud at, it proved that no matter how old you are you can still make a terrible choice but that choices can be continually changed.
My children aren’t this old but I found myself remembering how I and my siblings tr
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lighthearted read. Entertaining, with a lot of truth in the way grown-up kids take their parents for granted. Also how at that stage of life, one has to manage with grown-up children and parents growing old. Lots of lighthearted humor. Love the way the character grows and that sense prevails in the end. Would like to read more from this author.
B. Fleetwood
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story of Tess's move to a small 'fast becoming a commuter' town is peppered with great observational humour.

Divorced, escaping the London suburbs and her three allegedly-grown-up children, this is a tale of a woman who has been a slave to her kids, dominated by her ex and is now ready to begin again. As she starts developing new relationships, her dysfunctional offspring turn up or move in, her mother shows early signs of dementia and she experiences a roller-coaster ride of attraction, rej
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I had to take some time to think about this review. I can't decide if I liked this book or would pass on it again. It had good points and some points I just couldn't get past. For that reason, I gave it 3 stars (right down the middle).

Tess moved to a new town now that her kids have moved out and her husband is now an ex. Instead her kids and ex keep popping back into her house and she gets caught up in local drama when her house gets targeted with vandalism that could be for her, or related to
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this funny tale of Mum Tess who has just moved to a new town for a new start. Her children have all grown up but for one reason or another keep arriving home again. Her Mum's health is failing and she becomes embroiled with goings on in the local community. On top of this she is trying to keep on top of her job. Possible love interests add to the fun. An eclectic cast of characters lends itself to this funny tale. I will certainly be looking for more titles by this author. Thank ...more
Mel Burns
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reminds me of my house. All the kids grown up but always coming home. The neighbours are like mine too, Either busy with younger kids or a tad on the strange in a funny way side. i liked this book because it was full of emotions. i admire Tess too.
Chris Tunnicliffe
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A delightful story of a divorced woman who moves to a new town. She finds herself with her adult children coming and going, quirky neighbours and eventually love. Told with equal amounts of emotion and humour. Lovely, lovely story.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an amusing, easy-going read. Tess is a divorced Mum, whose 3 adult children keep turning up, taking advantage of her as she tries to build an independent, single life for herself and form new relationships in a new town. I enjoyed the book (although I found myself getting irritated with Tess for not standing up for herself enough). I thought her mother's dementia was portrayed very sympathetically (my mother has dementia so I could relate to this). The other characters were believable a ...more
Jane Hunt
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I loved this story. It's well-written with just the right amount of humour, romance and family drama and I can empathise with the main protagonist.

Tess's move from London isn't working out well. She misses her family and friends and wonders whether she's made a mistake. Very soon, she is inundated with family including a very irritating ex and has more friends and admirers than she can cope with.

This contemporary comment on motherhood when the children are grown up and supposed to have left home
Heather Copping
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a good chick-lit read where the main character Tess has so much going on in her life she makes you feel giddy with all she has to cope with. There's her children who seem to be bommeranging back home all the time, faulty plumbing, being a DFL (down from London) which doesn't please some of the locals and relationships a plenty. Not only her relationships but those of her children, neighbours, relations and her ex husband who comes round at a very wrong moment. Adding to the story is ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Jane’s books, they are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and stay up too late reading them! ‘Mum in the Middle’ didn’t disappoint, and I really didn’t want to put the book down as I couldn’t wait to see what drama was around the corner. Tess is divorced with three children who have flown the nest, but they keep returning. The ex also rocks up, and then Tess’ mum is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The book is comedic but Jane still dealt with the subject of Alzheimer’s in a sensiti ...more
Joanne Cartwright
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this!
It is a book that doesn't seem to have a clear theme (romance, mystery etc) but is so much the better for that. Reading it feels like one of those long phone calls with a dear but distant friend where you cram a years worth of news into a 2 hour chat...a bit of family news, a bit of "you'll never guess" gossip swapping and bit of woman meets man/men alongside a big dollop of humour.
I particularly liked the portrayal of the boomerang kids, grown but forever returning and al
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a brilliant read! A book that certainly relates to a lot of my life! The main character has so much going on with her kids, neighbours, relationships and her mother with Alzheimer’s.
The book is wonderfully written and I could not put it down - funny, emotional and a definite must read for all us ladies!
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-com
I'm not sure I could survive the chaotic family life depicted in this book, or if I would even put up with it! That being said, it was a fun read. Certainly Tess is part of the "sandwich" generation dealing with an aging mother with the beginnings of dementia, and grown children who don't seem ready to stand on their own two feet and expect Mum to fix their problems. Add to that new friendships, issues with vandalism in the neigbourhood, a new romance, and you'll be pulling for Tess to come out ...more
Lorraine Sears
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely story; I'm sure many mums, myself included, can identify with some of the goings on between Tess and her children. Tilly, in particular, pushed my buttons.
Because of the writing style I did on occasion get lost on a page, trying to work out if there had been a time or location jump, but it didn't take long to find myself again.
The whole 'whodunit mystery was a bit anticlimactic for me, but the story still kept my interest to the last page. Not sure about the weird social guidance at the
Vivien Brown
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
With a 47 year old heroine this is not a book to appeal to the younger chick lit reader, but it will certainly resonate with all those women still dealing with grown up kids who never quite leave home, post divorce dating and elderly parents in need of care. I found the book slow to get started but once I knew who everyone was the daily trials and village politics started to have meaning. For me three and a half stars but fairer to round up than down.
Janet Gogerty
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I downloaded this novel onto my Kindle as it sounded fun and we have relatives who have become DFLs on the Isle of Thanet. But this is a story that would make an enjoyable read for anyone with family or lively family as neighbours. Whether you are married, divorced or thankful to be single, the lives of Tess and her family and friends will probably sound familiar. The story bowls along, with prospects of romance dashed at every twist and turn and plenty of modern life problems.
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Jane Wenham-Jones is the author of six novels – her latest is The Big Five O – and three non-fiction books. Wannabe a Writer? is a humorous look at the trials and tribulations of becoming a scribe and Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of? is a how-to on PR and self-promotion. 100 Ways to Fight the Flab (and still have wine and chocolate) is full of useful tips to combat Writer's Bottom - an occupationa ...more

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