Sunday, June 27, 2010

Book Review: Not Ready for Mom Jeans

By Melissa Amster

I have a very selective sense of humor and have only found a handful of book characters to be really funny. Among those are Bridget Jones and Sammy Joyce ("Sammy's Hill"). I'm pleased to add Clare Finnegan to my list of characters who had me laughing from start to finish. And I have Maureen Lipinski to thank for that!

Clare is the heroine of "Not Ready for Mom Jeans." The story is about her first year of motherhood and all the laughter, tears and stress that go along with being a working mother and having to make a lot of decisions for herself and her family. There's a broad cast of characters that she encounters along the way which includes her family, friends, co-workers and some other outside forces that will remain a surprise for those of you who haven't read it yet.

I have a lot in common with Clare: We're both moms (which certainly helps), we love blogging, we like our jobs, we're both loyal to our friends and like taking care of them and my first year of motherhood took place in the Chicago suburbs. There are times during the book where I swear she was reading my thoughts and voicing them out loud. I even felt compelled to contact Ms. Lipinski on Facebook each time I came across such a mind-reading experience.

Along with being hilarious, "Not Ready for Mom Jeans" is a sweet and enjoyable story. However, I feel it speaks only to a limited audience. I worry that anyone who hasn't experienced motherhood would not be as interested nor even be able to laugh along with all the baby-related humor. Also, some of the characters seem more exaggerated, almost like caricatures in writing. If Ms. Lipinski's attempt was to be satirical, then she definitely succeeded in that effort. All the same, these exaggerated personalities were very funny and I hope no one, including Ms. Lipinski, has had to encounter such personalities in real life.

I really liked this book a lot and would love to read her first novel, "A Bump in the Road." I also think that this novel has left enough material for a third story about Clare and all the other characters that helped make "Not Ready..." a great story from start to finish.