Mamma by Diane Tutton was first published in 1956 but it has recently been reprinted by British Library.
The book begins with Joanna Malling travelling to the house she has bought, it’s moving in day but nothing seems to be going to plan, she’s even having second thoughts about the house. Joanna has had quite a sad life, widowed at just 21 with a small daughter to look after, Libby. It’s now twenty years later, Joanna hadn’t expected to remain a widow all those years but only one man had proposed to her and he was so much older she regarded that as an insult.
Now it’s Libby’s turn to get married, and her husband is 15 years older than Libby, so there’s only a six year age gap between Joanna and Steven. Joanna just can’t understand what Libby sees in him, they seem such a mismatched couple, but as she gets to know him better Joanna realises that she has much more in common with Steven than her daughter has and things get a wee bit awkward.
In an era when 41 year old women were regarded as being over the hill and fairly superfluous members of society this book has some rather uncomfortable moments with the horribly immature but pushy Libby not seeming to regard her mother as a human being at all. This was a good read.
Thank you to British Library for sending me a copy of the book for review.