4 out of 4 stars
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Lara Lillibridge started a blog when she was a recently divorced single mother raising two young boys. Her book, Mama, Mama, Only Mama, takes the form of her diary during those years and includes an assortment of articles, old but updated blog posts, and recipes that are kid-approved. She covers her marriage, how she became a mother, her divorce, raising her two kids on her own while co-parenting with her ex, as well as dating during that time. The book is not just a biography as it also has comedic but helpful advice for women going through the same thing, or even just women with kids.
I myself am not a mother, but I took one look at the summary and knew that Mama, Mama, Only Mama would be hilarious. Lillibridge is honest and self-deprecating, able to learn from and laugh at her past mistakes. I have to admit, I thought the book would focus more on the kids than her, more like a collection of funny stories than a semi-autobiography, but that wasn't the case. I hope to have kids one day and am always quick to snatch up books that I think might give me an edge when I'm dealing with my own children in the future. While entertaining, this book was also a good source of such inspiration.
Mama, Mama, Only Mama's greatest strength is Lillibridge's comedic storytelling. The book certainly has its highs and lows. At one point I cried and was so upset by what had happened that I had to take a break from reading. Although that particular incident was not Lillibridge's fault in any way, she has made quite a few mistakes throughout her life and is honest about sharing them. In this book, you get to read about her experiences and what she learned from them, all while taking a peek into the hectic life of a single mother who just wants what is best for her children.
The book itself was very well-edited, with only a few minor mistakes. I enjoyed the images she sprinkled throughout the book, always related to the chapter topic. I also liked the difference in formatting between the "book" portions, the blog posts, and the recipes. The content is interesting enough on its own, but the visual changes were refreshing and kept me turning page after page.
Even though the book didn't focus on her kids as much as I was expecting it to, I was highly entertained the entire time and would give it 4 out of 4 stars. If you're not a fan of reading about other people's issues, this may not be the book for you. However, I do believe single parents, mothers especially, would find the book amusing if not informative and helpful.
Mama, Mama, Only Mama
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