The Beta Mum Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson @NHyummymummy


Here, it isn’t the battle of who has the Rolls-Royce of strollers…these children actually roll in Rolls-Royces!

When 33-year-old Sophie Bennett moves from a sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy West London, she doesn’t know where she has landed, Venus or Mars. By a stroke of good luck, her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms Nursery, the most exclusive nursery in London – hence the world – where she meets a sea of Alpha mums: Super Successful, Super Skinny and Super Rich. There, not is all as it seems, and she has to fight against the lure of a cult, a two headed dragon and Mumsolini’s dictatorship.

When Sophie struggles to fit in and starts to feel deeply lonely, she starts an anonymous blog, The Beta Mum, dissecting the lives of the Alpha Mums, especially Kelly’s, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep who constantly makes her feel like a second class citizen. When Sophie’s marriage starts to falter, she engages in an email relationship with one of her readers. But then, one of her blogs goes viral and her blog becomes more and more successful; how long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive her reader’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha Mums?



I loved this all round super funny entertaining book about modern-day family life of the rich and famous which is set around the mums and occasionally the dads at a London nursery. Sophie, Michael and three-year old Kaya had recently moved from Oakville, Toronto to London, which has put Michael further up the ladder of success but left Sophie still looking for work and rather a lot of time on her hands.

Cherry Blossoms Nursery is a place that prides itself on keeping the prying eyes of reporters away, giving the children and parents a place that feels secure from the outside world. Sophie, being a small town girl, gets quite an eye opener on the first day as these super looking, exquisitely dressed and very confident mums arrive via very expensive cars. She soon feels dull, ignored and very much out of her depth.

The playground of mums is very much a place of “mines bigger than yours”, and “our yacht was moored next to ….”, The Alpha mum of them all was Kelly who made Sophie feel very second-rate. In a fit of rebuff Sophie creates a Blog and uses the name The Beta Mum. What starts as a place to vent frustrations of the Nursery yuppies becomes a regular feature and gets a following.

Absolutely loved this book that takes a look into the lives of the rich and famous through fictional characters. You can see these people at any school. The popular, the hangers-on and the ones that keep themselves to themselves. They are universal just with different issues and stuff to brag about. That is what makes this story so easy to relate to in many ways. The only difference here is the press could have a field day with this “playground” gossip.

This is beautifully written with characters you will pick out as someone similar to people you know, with the exception of the money, unless you are a yuppie of course. Anyway a super holiday book or curled up on the sofa, it makes for cosy reading no matter where you are.  I laughed, I cringed and I really thought about social media. A very clever book that gives you so much to think about after you finish.



Isabella Davidson is the author of the popular blog, Notting Hill Yummy Mummy, which chronicles the entertaining lives of west London residents. Through the blog, she has written features for the Times, the Saturday Times Magazine, Corner Magazine, efinancial and has been interviewed by the Times, Financial Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Spectator magazine, the Saturday Times Magazine and many more.

She wrote The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land during a Faber Academy Novel Writing course. Prior to starting her writing career, she worked for a Nobel Prize winning humanitarian organization and as a doctor for the National Health Service in the UK. She grew up living in four different continents before settling down in London fifteen years ago. She currently lives in west London with her husband and her two small children.



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