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The 6pm Frazzled Mums' Club by Nina Manning #Review

I am delighted to be part of the celebrations for the publication of Nina Manning's The 6pm Frazzled Mums' Club . It was published by Boldwood Books on September 26th.     Whatever the question, the answer is wine! They’ve swapped the dark and lonely baby days for school gate chaos, but Aisha, Sophy and Mel are discovering that there are new parenting pitfalls just waiting for them… Influencer Sophy, is trying to keep on top of home and work life but is finding it all a bit tough! Everyone thinks she’s living her best life, but the pressure to maintain perfection at the school gates when all she wants to do is cry, is taking its toll on Sophy. Aisha doesn’t know what to do with all her spare time now her twins are at school. Maybe it’s time to focus on herself and the dreams she’s put on hold? But when her mum suddenly begins to feel unwell, Aisha has to rethink everything. And when Mel is offered a chance to live her dream, she grabs it with both hands. But there’

A Modern Family by Helga Flatland translated by Rosie Hedger #Review

Welcome to another Orenda Books tour for a novel with great individuality which has won the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize. Described by the publisher as the Norwegian Anne Tyler, Helga Flatland makes her English debut in a beautiful, bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights…

When Liv, Ellen and HÃ¥kon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce. Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history. 

A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…  

My Thoughts

This is an affecting and at times, poignant novel which focuses on a fairly ordinary family who are going through a traumatic period in their lives as a family. You get to see the story through the eyes of the three siblings in turn which gives you additional perspective on what is going on within their interlinked emotional lives. Sometimes you get a surprise as you are taken into each of their confidences. Hakon, the youngest son, is kept until the latter stages of the book and I found his story to be the most illuminating as he stepped out of the shadow of his sisters' observations. 

    Despite the fact that they are at the centre of the family and have precipitated the situation they all find themselves in, the parents seem to be strangely absent. The siblings view everything through their own eyes and evaluate events as it has affected them. The novel poses questions about the place of individuals within the family and exposes how they carry guilt or jealousy at times. They also seem unable to recognise family traits within their own behaviour or to see how they share characteristics with each other. 

    This is an absorbing and thoughtful read which shows how complicated family links can be. 

In short: family dynamics strip away and give you a glimse of what lies below.

About the Author

 Helga Flatland is already one of Norway’s most awarded and widely read authors. Born in Telemark, Norway, in 1984, she made her literary debut in 2010 with the novel Stay If You Can, Leave If You Must, for which she was awarded the Tarjei Vesaas’ First Book Prize. She has written four novels and a children’s book and has won several other literary awards. Her fifth novel, A Modern Family, was published to wide acclaim in Norway in August 2017, and was a number-one bestseller. The rights have subsequently been sold across Europe and the novel has sold more than 100,000 copies. 

You can follow Helga here: Twitter 

Book links: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Helga Flatland and Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour. 

Check out these great blogs on the Blog Tour!


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