Book Review: Play Groups & Prosecco: The misadventures of a single mum by Jo Middleton

Play Groups and Prosecco was one of those books that gave me a warm feeling inside. 

I can’t put my finger on one specific thing that made this book great, because there were so many things I loved about it. 

It’s not just that the book made me laugh – which it did, out loud, multiple times – but it’s got such a lovely heart to it as well. 

From the strong friendships the lead character, Frankie, forges with fellow mums to the incredible bond she shares with her ex-husband, this book uplifted me as much as it made me cringe and laugh in equal measure. 

Play Groups and Prosecco: The misadventures of a single mum is written by Jo Middleton, who started writing her blog Slummy Single Mummy in 2009. 

With her hilarious observations and honest stories from her own life as a single mum, it was only a matter of time before a book deal came calling and the result is just brilliant. 

Play Groups and Prosecco is written in a diary format from the perspective of newly-single mum Frankie. 

She has two children and a part-time job at a local museum where her boss is a bit of a tool. Having split from her husband – who also happened to be a best friend – Frankie is feeling lonely. She decides this will be the year where she puts herself out there, both to find new friends and to seek a new relationship. 

So begins her (mis)adventures through the world of play groups – and all the politics that goes with them – and the even scarier world of dating in the smartphone age. 

I loved the stories of Frankie’s experiences of meeting men through Tinder. While it would be easy to assume these were all made up – as some of the stories are downright shocking – I do wonder if Jo borrowed from some of her own dating life experiences for the book. 

Frankie’s funny, but her observations on topics such as Tinder, Instagram and parenting are absolutely bang on. I think mums who read this book will relate to so much of what she says, and nod along with empathy as she struggles to get to grips with life as a single parent. 

One of my favourite things about the book was the little summaries at the start of some of the entries. These are done in numbers and just cracked me up. Here’s one: 

Tinder matches – 0. But still haven’t written anything impressive in my bio. Glasses of wine needed to recover from soft play – 3 (reasonable). 

You don’t have to be a single mama to relate to Frankie’s life struggles. As she tries to juggle work and the kids without too much guilt, there’s something familiar for all of us. 

If you’re looking for a book to take to the beach this summer, or just to read when the kids have finally gone to bed, I thoroughly recommend this one. 

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll finish it feeling warm inside. 

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

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