Book Review: The Juggle

The Juggle by Emma Murray

Mother-of-one Saoirse is just about holding it all together – combining part time work with the school run, while her husband David gets to focus on his career. But when David loses his job, everything has to change.

With no hesitation, Saoirse suggests she takes on the role of main breadwinner. After all, how hard can it be? And when a new client offers her a life-changing sum of money, Saoirse can look the other over-achieving Woodvale school-run mums in the eye with pride.

But there’s a problem with keeping too many balls in the air – eventually one is bound to drop. And when that happens – well, who knows what the consequences could be…

The Juggle is the sequel to Emma Murray’s first novel, Time Out, and begins mere weeks after that one ended. As with Time Out, The Juggle is filled with the hilarious and sometimes emotional antics of Saoirse’s life as a mum, wife, friend, and writer.

Saoirse’s 4 year old daughter Anna reminds me so much of how my own daughter was at that age that it feels almost eerie, but definitely accurate. Forget Terrible Twos, the Frustrating Fours is the one to fear. Anna is dramatic, manipulative, and four, and I adore the way she is written.

The Juggle made me laugh out loud frequently, and I groaned at the Facebook Vale Mums group who have now taken over at the school too. I feel like I can relate to Saoirse so much in so many ways. I’m the mom with the non-organic snacks, who signs up for the easiest item on the class party snack lists.

I love the friendship between Saoirse and Bea, and this book is as much about friendship as it is about anything else. There are quite a few emotional moments between the two of them in this book, which added a lot of depth to the relationship.

I found this book to be so relatable, as was Time Out when I was reading that one. Saoirse does her best to keep everything together when her husband loses his job, as well as against the constant judgment and criticism from the Facebook Vale Mums group. It is a funny and relatable story about the ups and downs of juggling motherhood, work, friends, and family, while trying to keep it all together throughout it. I found Saoirse to be a little frustrating at times, and some of her actions truly irritate me, but ultimately I seem to like her.

Why do I like The Juggle? It’s entertaining, it almost reminds me of a sitcom in the way that it is written. It’s down to earth. The situations are relatable and not completely ridiculous like they can sometimes be.

Once again, another great book from Emma Murray, and I look forward to the next one.

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