Ally has everything she ever wanted: a husband, a child, a lovely house in a pretty neighbourhood. Her glamorous, dynamic next-door neighbour, Juno, is also her best friend. But Juno has made a surprising decision; she has signed up for Queen Mum, a reality-TV show. For two weeks, she will live with another family in another town, while her opposite number will be moving in next door to Ally. Juno is excited about the prospect of seeing life from a different perspective. Ally is nervous. She doesn't like change, and knows from bitter experience how something precious can be lost in a moment. Kate Long's new novel, written with her customary wit, empathy and incisiveness, is about friendship and love, recklessness and caution and about how the camera, while it sometimes lies, can also reveal uncomfortable truths. 'Delicious' Red This is the perfect summer novel easy to read, but perceptive about the twists of fate that can change our lives Glamour 'Long is as compulsively readable as ever' Time Out
Katherine Millar is 18. She wishes she had two parents, instead of one grandma, Poll. Poll's ambition is for things to stay exactly the same for ever, and for Katherine never to leave their pit village of Bank Top. Katherine has other ideas, and she can feel change is coming; the omens are all around her.
The Bad Mother's Handbook is the story of a year in the lives of Charlotte, Karen and Nan, none of whom can quite believe how things have turned out. Why is it all so difficult? Why do the most ridiculous mistakes have the most disastrous consequences? When are you too old to throw up in a flowerbed after too much vodka? When are you too young to be a mother? Both hilarious and wise, it is a clear-eyed look at motherhood - and childhood - in its many guises, from the moment the condom breaks to the moment you file for divorce or, more optimistically, from the moment you hear your baby's first cry to the moment you realize that there are as many sorts of mother as there are children, and that love sometimes is the most important thing of all.