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You Be Mother - Meg Mason

Paperback Published: 21st August 2017
ISBN: 9780732293536
Number Of Pages: 448

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The only thing Abi ever wanted was a proper family. So when she falls pregnant by an Australian exchange student in London, she cannot pack up her old life in Croydon fast enough, to start all over in Sydney and make her own family. It is not until she arrives, with three-week-old Jude in tow, that Abi realises Stu is not quite ready to be a father after all. And he is the only person she knows in this hot, dazzling, confusing city, where the job of making friends is turning out to be harder than she thought.

That is, until she meets Phyllida, her wealthy, charming, imperious older neighbour, and they become almost like mother and daughter. If only Abi had not told Phil that teeny tiny small lie, the very first day they met…

Imagine the warmth of Monica McInerney, the excruciating awkwardness of Offspring and the wit of Liane Moriarty, all rolled into one delightful, warm, funny and totally endearing novel about families – the ones we have, and the ones we want – and the stories we tell ourselves about them.

About the Author

Born in New Zealand, writer Meg Mason began her career at the Financial Times in London before switching to The Times to write on lifestyle, parenting and humour. After relocating to Sydney, she began writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Russh, the British Medical Journal, Cosmopolitan and GQ. She now writes regular features and the popular 'Mum vs. World 'column for Sunday , where she served as managing editor in 2010. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.


A Wonderful Read


This is such a delicious read; the book to curl up with when you want a book to get lost in, that you can't put down and that you just have to read one more chapter of before you have to get dinner started. It's a beautifully crafted story of a young girl, who is a mother and wants a mother. She has emigrated from London to Sydney with a new baby and is a stranger in the strange land, both of Australia and Motherhood. And then there is the lovely Phil, who is the mother we all wished we had had or had been; a mother whose nest is empty, but still has mothering to give. And a baby so beautifully described that I could almost smell him. Indeed it is the tiny mundane details of everyday life so acutely observed that give this book such a kind and gentle air as it's tale unfolds. We are longing to mother Abi ourselves by half way through it and silently cheer her valiant efforts to make her life work and hold our breath as she tries to resolve the many naive mistakes she makes over things large and small. As a clever counterpoise to all the sunshine where the archetypal mother figure of Phil lives in a well-to-do Sydney suburb, is Abi's real mother, who is a sick and mentally ill recluse living in a slum in a cold and dark never-ending winter of decline in London. In an ironic twist, she is the mother who needs mothering. Just like a child she is self-absorbed and needing to be looked after. The ending is both sad and joyously happy with a denouement that most readers will not have seen coming, which is a delight in itself. I both laughed and cried when I read You Be Mother and there are not many books over which I have done that. The ending ties all the story lines and characters together in a most clever and satisfactory way. You will find yourself smiling as you finish the last sentence and gently close its covers. Delicious.

New Zealand


A delightful read which will make your life better.


It's like I opened the door to my house and all these characters from You Be Mother moved in with me. For a week, it was just us. I ignored my children. I neglected my husband. Plants weren't watered and died. Minutes turned into hours, hours into days and I don't know what happened if it didn't happen after 'It has to be for you, Bebs' and before 'That, Phil, is wattle. And it means we have made it. Or near enough.' I adored this book and, on the day I finished it, there was wattle. In the air. On the street. And it was the most perfect ending so if you had anything to do with that, Meg Mason, hats off. A full service author.

Sydney, Au


Lovely story


I really enjoyed this book and it was great to see the characters develop. It reminds us to be kind to people because you never know what is going on in their lives.



You Be Mother

4.7 3


'Rare and delightful ... a beautifully crafted novel about female relationships. I couldn't put this book down.' - Clare Press, Fashion Editor-at-large, Marie Claire

'You Be Mother is the kind of book you pick up...and never want to put down ... you will fall in love with this book.' - Lauren Sams, author of She's Having Her Baby

ISBN: 9780732293536
ISBN-10: 0732293537
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 21st August 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.55

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