Menu 

Book Review: Mind Games & Ministers – By Chris L. Longden

By Nina Steele 

Mind Games & MinistersIt is refreshing to read a book that is honest about motherhood, as opposed to painting it as this nearly perfect experience that trumps everything else. The author Chris Longden, a mother of two (the book is fiction, although some events are born out of her personal experiences), was once a social worker and so, not only does she have her own experience as a mother to go on, she also taps into the many stories she came across in her former career. Far from being one dimensional, the book deals with many other issues, including grief, tangled relationships and non-parenthood. Non-parenthood is a constant throughout the book, which I take it to be the author’s deliberate attempt to create a balance between those with children and those without.

Rachael Russell, the main character in the book, is a single mother of two. In her late 30s, she is forced to raise her children alone, after the death of her husband in a motorbike accident, while on a holiday in South Africa. Anyone who has lost a partner will understand the struggles she faces in terms of what is expected of a grieving widow. For example, when is it ok to start dating again? She is riddled with guilt after rekindling an old liaison not long after her husband’s death, only for it to end very badly. Not only that, she somehow blames herself for her husband’s death, which further complicates matters.

I found the use of humour very helpful, particularly at the start when the author takes us on a rather depressing journey of what it’s like to be a social worker. From dealing with old people with multiple health issues, to young mothers trapped in violent relationships, on some of the toughest council estates in the country. Yet, sadly, we often only hear about social workers when things go wrong.

If talks of council estates and deprivation are starting to make you depressed, then take heart, because as mentioned before, the book deals with many other issues. Rachael’s tangled love life particularly, offers some much needed distraction, and I have to say that the author has done a great job at making it both entertaining and irritating in equal measure.

All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Chris Longden’s book and highly recommend it.

Mind Games & Ministers – By Chris L. Longden is on sale on Amazon

You can also follow her blog at: funnylass.wordpress.com

Speak Your Mind