Helen and I have different parenting styles. Hers is the ‘let them get on with it’ kind. Mine is the type where I’m always graduating from one worry (like SIDS, choking on small objects and drowning in shallow water) to another (crossing roads, going unaccompanied into public toilets and getting rides with friends’ boyfriends who’ve only just got their license). Which, if you think about it, says more about the society we live in – that rapists and appalling drivers coexist with my children – than it does about me.
Jo, Helen, Ereka and CJ have been friends since they joined a mothers’ group, but now their kids are teens and almost-teens their lives are very different. It’s been a while since they last had a weekend away together, but it’s finally come together, and, along with some new friends, they’re heading out a luxurious country house for some quality time together – eating, drinking and, importantly talking.But will their friendship survive the weekend unscathed?
The Reunion is a sequel to the 2006 title Secret Mother’s Business, and includes several of the same characters, along with some new ones. In the first book the mothers dealt with issues common to young families. Now, they are raising teens and pre-teens, and facing issues of nearing middle age. Readers who connected with the first book are likely to similarly connect with the second, being likely that they have faced this new group of situations, too. The characters are as likeable as they are varied, and it isn’t hard to connect with them.
Whilst Fedler takes the time to explain that the work is mostly a work of fiction, it was inspired by a weekend away with friends, and many of the situations and conversations used are based on real experiences.As a result, it is easy to relate to the women of The Reunion.
The Reunion, by Joanne Fedler
Allen & Unwin, 2012
Available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.