SAHM I AM by Meredith Efken
From the back cover:
For the members of a stay-at-home-moms' e-mail loop, lunch with friends is a sandwich in front of the computer. But where else could they discuss things like...
Success: Her workaholic husband is driving Dulcie Huckleberry around the bend. It's hard to love someone in sickness and in health when he's never home!
Art: Let the children express themselves, opines artistic Zelia Muzuwa, and then her son's head gets stuck inside a kitty scratching post . . .
Health: Surely aches and pains are normal in an active little boy, yet those of soccer-mom Jocelyn Millard's son don't seem to be going away.
Motherhood: Teen-mom-turned-farmer's-wife Brenna Lindberg can deal with the mud and the chickens, but what about her husband's desire for a child of his own?
Indiscretions: However youthful, they can come back to haunt you, learns pastor's wife Phyllis Lorimer.
Amends: These could stand to be made between officious list moderator Rosalyn Ebberly and her pampered sister, Veronica. Perhaps the other SAHM I AMers can teach these two something about sisterhood.
This has got to be one of the funniest books I've read this year. That says a lot because I don't even HAVE children, and I tend to dislike books about moms since I can't really relate. But this book about stay-at-home mothers struck a deep chord with me.
The book isn't just about stay-at-home moms, although the heroines are SAHMs. The funnier, sassier theme is hypocrisy within the church. These Christian mothers connect via the internet, but their deeper characters come through despite the "impersonal" medium of emails. The things that happen to these SAHMs aren't as hilarious as the kinds of people they interact with on their email loop and the way they relate to each other.
The Christian stereotypes are all there, three-dimensional and easily recognizable. Those of us deeply involved in ministry and serving in our churches will recognize the different types of "Mary"s and "Martha"s and "Jezebel"s, but sometimes with an unexpected twist. The vibrant characterization made me laugh at my own preconceived notions but also think about my perceptions of my local family in Christ.
I spend a lot of time on email with my friends and family, so the email format was both familiar and a clever fictional tool. There is a wealth of rich, hilarious subtexting going on--things NOT said versus the things actually written in the email. There's also an incredible amount of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm that had me rolling.
The humor reminded me of Penny Culliford's British best-seller "Theodora's Diary." "SAHM I Am" has the same type of dry, clever wit that I love, moreso than the more common, obvious humor in slapstick.
The book is like many other Chick-Lits in that it's more character-driven (strong spiritual threads) than plot-driven by a single thread of action. However, there are five clear subplots interwoven together, taking the place of one main one, with Dulcie's plot taking precedence over the others. It wasn't difficult for me to follow them.
The heroines are relatively young (twenties to thirties) so young mothers will definitely relate. I also think this will appeal to singles, because the humor is not centered around motherhood as much as it's a commentary on Christians in the church.