book reviews

Book Review: Crazy Busy Guilty



Crazy Busy Guilty
: Lauren Sams
Published: 2017
Publisher: Nero, Swartz Publishing
My Rating: 4/5

“There’s life Before Baby and life After Baby. Any idiot knows that. I knew that. Except I didn’t know what life After Baby would really be like…”

Crazy Busy Guilty is the second novel from editor and freelance writer turned novelist, Lauren Sams, and is a follow up to her 2015 release, ‘She’s Having Her Baby’.

The title with this one really does say it all. I mean, whose life – especially a mother’s – isn’t filled with craziness, busyness with some guilt thrown in for good measure? And that’s what makes this book work.

From the moment you read the first line, “Are you a Foodie Mum? Do you make nutritious, delicious meals for your children, often at a moment’s notice?” any mother will find themselves nodding, eye rolling, and genuinely smiling at Lauren’s take on ‘mum types’. As we know, the real truth is, all mums are struggling to just get by from day to day. And that’s where the story begins.

We are introduced to Georgie who is struggling with her life as a new mum to four-month old Pip. In the last twelve months she has gone from high-achieving editor of a glossy women’s magazine, to a single, stay-at-home mum. And she’s not coping. Adding to her struggles are her best friend Nina who’s going through an early mid-life crisis, Georgie’s ex and father of her baby Jase, who is clueless, and the dilemma facing Georgie whether her decision to return to the workforce is the right one. But the too-good-to-be-true job offer as editor of a weekend newspaper supplement, is too hard to pass up and Georgie thinks once she gets into a routine, everything will be fine. What ensues, is an often hilarious roller coaster ride of crazy, busy, guilty ultimately leading to the colossal downfall of Georgie’s sanity.

If you’ve read Lauren’s first novel, ‘She’s having her baby’, you’ll know Georgie’s story, but the second book can be read as a stand alone. Lauren does a great job of subtly educating the reader about Georgie’s life history without going into too much backstory.

The thing about Georgie is she’s just so relatable. In one way or another, any mum will be able to relate to her struggles and accompanying emotions. What Lauren does particularly well, is weave humour, brute honesty, and heartfelt truths into Georgie’s story. She takes what is a common story and turns it into an engaging read, where you just want to know what happens in the end. At times, I found myself empathizing with Georgie, at other times I just wanted to throttle her, but mostly I just wanted to give her a big hug.

As I had read Lauren’s first book only recently, I did find her writing has grown with Crazy Busy Guilty. Although I enjoyed ‘She’s having her baby’ I did feel the writing was at times clunky, whereas with Crazy Busy Guilty it was much more polished and refined.

I thoroughly enjoyed Crazy Busy Guilty, and I’m looking forward to reading more from Lauren Sams in the future.

 Crazy Busy Guilty is out now.