Mothers Grimm is a deliciously wicked, modern-day take on fairytales and motherhood. Popular fairytales, such as Hansel and Gretel are retold from the perspective of modern day, Australian mothers who are struggling to reconcile the differences between what they were told motherhood would be and the reality of what motherhood truly is.
Wood's prose is funny and often wicked and the retellings quite inventive. Lettuce is set in a group of mother-to-be where the supposedly perfect mother turns out to be anything but perfect. (She's the kind of mother who may just exchange her child for some leafy greens.) Sleep is a twist on Sleeping Beauty with references to sleep depravation, Cottage examines the guilt mothers feel for leaving their children in child care and Nag talks about mother/daughter relationships.
As a woman in her thirties who is childless and will very probably remain so, I suspect that I could not relate to this book in the way that many other women will no doubt be able to. I could, however, relate to the ideas of expectations not meeting reality.
An interesting and dark take on some age old stories, juxtaposed with a look modern-day parenting.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin and to The Reading Room for my advance reading copy.