The Talk of Pram Town by Joanna Nadin #Book Review #PanMacmillan-Mantle #NetGalley #4*

It’s 1981. Eleven-year-old Sadie adores her beautiful and vibrant mother, Connie, whose dreams of making it big as a singer fill their tiny house in Leeds.

It’s always been just the two of them. Until the unthinkable happens.

Jean hasn’t seen her good-for-nothing daughter Connie since she ran away from the family home in Harlow – or Pram Town as its inhabitants affectionately call it – aged seventeen and pregnant.

But in the wake of the Royal Wedding, Jean gets a life-changing call: could she please come and collect the granddaughter she’s never met?

We all know how Charles and Diana turned out, and Jean and Sadie are hardly a match made in heaven – but is there hope of a happy ending for them?

Written in Joanna Nadin’s trademark dazzling prose, The Talk of Pram Town tells the story of three generations of Earnshaws and asks whether it always has to be like mother, like daughter . .

Realistic, Satisfying Read!

This is my first novel by Joanna Nadin, and it contains a lot of truths alongside a plethora of questions . . .

Sadie is eleven and lives with her mam, Connie, who works supermarket shifts to keep body and soul together whilst she pursues her first love, singing. Her mum ran away from home when she was pregnant and hasn’t seen her parents since; Sadie is unaware of any grandparents but, when Connie dies suddenly she finds herself bundled off to live with them.

This is a story of three women; Sadie, her mother Connie and Jean, who was Constance’s mother as she grew up. Their individual tales are woven together intricately and all three lives are revealed little by little, pulling me in and before I realised it I was completely engrossed and desperate to find out not only where it was going but what happened in the past. This is one of those books which worms it’s way inside your head without you being aware of it and you find yourself comparing events to your own life. Mothers and daughters are never easy but this author has their relationships nailed. Crafted with realism, well-written and with a satisfying outcome, this is a novel I’m happy to consider as a four star read.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: women’s fiction

  • Format: ebook, hardcover, audiobook
  • Size: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound
  • Publication Date: 25 March 2021
  • Links: Goodreads
  •              Google Play
  •              Kobo
  •              Waterstones
  •              amazon

I grew up in Saffron Walden in Essex, a small town, where nothing much happened, and where I spent an awful lot of time wishing I was somewhere else, or someone else. And that’s what I write about now – for children, teenagers and adults: extraordinary things happening to very ordinary people, in very ordinary places. And about dreaming of other lives you might live.

And I have lived many other lives: as a lifeguard, a radio newsreader, a producer on a TV cookery show, a journalist, and a special adviser to the Prime Minister. And I still have other guises: as a speechwriter, a lecturer, and (in my head at least) as a future ice dance champion. And, of course, the many, many characters I create, from Flying Fergus (with Sir Chris Hoy) to Joe in the Carnegie-nominated and BAFTA-winning Joe All Alone.

Stuff I like: Paris, prom dresses, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, Ladybird books, cake, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, politics, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, old dresses, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, eating peanut butter from the jar, the bit where Johnny says ‘no-one puts Baby in a corner’, the 1950s, automata, fiddles, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.


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