The Other Mother
by Kelly Chandler
For Kelly, meeting the right guy was pretty straightforward – becoming a ‘spare mum’ to his two sons was more daunting. It had taken long enough to get on with her own stepmum, and now Kelly suddenly found herself sharing responsibility for two mini-humans. Her party days gave way to early starts, jokes about farts, games of hide-and-seek, and delicate negotiations with her partner’s ex and a cast of many. When Kelly got pregnant, stitching together the patchwork quilt of their new tribe became even trickier.
In The Other Mother Kelly tells how her whole life changed when she became a stepdaughter, how it changed again when she became a stepmum, and how blended families rock her world.
‘Chandler’s way with words is a frequent delight … She is an artful writer – more polished and witty than the earnest Shorten … If you really want to learn about the nitty-gritty of step-parenting – bodily functions, household chores, sleeping arrangements, vasectomies, petty jealousies, scheduling negotiations, you name it – then The Other Mother is the book for you.’
‘[A] searingly honest, bittersweet memoir. Chandler’s book is similar to a ride on a roller-coaster with all its moments of glee and terror … while not minimising the difficulties of “stepping”, also point[s] out that happily blended families can be a joyous and enriching experience for everyone.’
‘The Other Mother made me realise not only how crazy it is that step-parents are still the least heard voices in the family, but also how much their experience illuminates everyone else’s. Chandler is fresh, funny, smart and real.’ CHRISTINE KENNEALLY
‘A pleasure to read, effortless and brilliant like the diary entries of Helen Garner. You’ll find yourself deeply in love with the family she has helped create.’ ANNA KRIEN
‘Kelly writes with raw honesty not only about the children and her relationship, but about each of the players in their lives, creating a wonderful portrait of a modern family… The Other Mother is a beautiful and thought-provoking memoir. You’ll never think of stepmothers in the same way again.’