The Bad Mother’s Handbook

Author: Kate Long

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Release Date: June 2006

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.0

Format: PRINT

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Karen Cooper had been pregnant at sixteen so when she discovers that her daughter, Charlotte, is pregnant at seventeen she feels the girl has ruined her chances of making something of herself. Karen’s mother Nan also lives with them. She has Alzheimer’s and is likely to get in trouble if she is left alone for a long period of time. Together they have raised Charlotte since Karen’s divorce five years after they married. Karen’s hopes of becoming a teacher dashed when she had to quit school to raise her daughter.

Charlotte is a bright student with her whole life ahead of her. When she finds herself pregnant, she is terrified to tell her mother. Her mother is furious as Charlotte expected. She has decided to keep the baby and deal with whatever life throws at her. Her only wish is that there was someone she could talk to about her situation. Nan talked babble half the time and her mother is too wrapped up in the feeling that she is ruining her life. She meets a boy named Daniel, who becomes a wonderful friend after that baby’s father blows her off.


Nan’s seems to have lost her mind but some of the nonsense that comes out of her mouth confuses Karen. She has no idea of the secrets that Nan has kept all these years that will come tumbling out with time. While Nan seems to have taken Charlotte’s pregnancy quite well, she really isn’t good at talking to her about it.


Kate Long takes some sensitive issues creating an intriguing story bringing us through the lives of three people. The feelings are dealt with humor but also with tender moments. THE BAD MOTHER’S HANDBOOK is a story that brings together three generations of women to understand each other and cope with life’s experiences.  

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Kim Atchue-Cusella

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