The Other Mother by Kelly Chandler

Immediately I was struck by what an absolute pleasure it is to read a book set in my local neighbourhood. Of course, not everyone will understand the Ruckers Hill references – however, rest assured, this will not deter from the actual purpose of Kelly Chandler’s story. That purpose being to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about becoming a stepmother. As a writer and editor, Chandler has interviewed people about an enormous range of topics, but here, she is the topic.

In this ‘kiss and tell’ memoir Chandler records her decision-making process and investigation into step-parenting and recalls the careful initial steps taken to win over her new part-time charges. In clear language, telling her story chronologically, Chandler registers each moment of her change from single party woman to mother of three. For her , that transformation was dramatic and life-altering.

It’s liberating to read about other women’s lives when their intention is simply to share. This book is not a parenting guide, nor could it be considered a straight love story. It is a declaration that every choice has a cost. This story is not just for mothers or stepmothers: it’s for anyone who needs a laugh about what it’s like to live fully and truthfully.

Chris Gordon is the Events Manager for Readings.