Books & Literature

Book Review: Grace Under Pressure, by Tori Haschka

GENERAL FICTION: A deliciously hilarious, honest and heartfelt portrayal of modern motherhood and the saving grace of female friendship.

A terrifying, hilarious, and heartfelt read, all rolled together into one brutally honest look into the pressures of modern-day motherhood.

According to her Instagram profile, Grace Harkness has it all—two beautiful children, four successful cookbooks and a well-organised, picturesque beachside home. But with baby number three on the way and a husband who seems to go out his way to choose #worklife over #familylife, Grace is losing control. 

When the pressures of modern-day motherhood become too much, Grace turns to her friends for support. The three ladies decide to ditch the men in their lives and move in together, creating a ‘mummune’—sharing the load of chores, life admin and the endless load of work that comes with kids. Have these ladies cracked the code to the perfect stress-free life? 

This book was terrifying, hilarious, and heartfelt, all rolled together into one brutally honest look into the pressures of modern-day motherhood. Let’s be honest: with the addition of social media already causing most of us to keep our mental health in check with the endless stream of perfectly curated lives on display, it’s no surprise that mothers have even more pressure added to them with the expectation of being the ‘perfect’ mother. Scroll through the comments of any celebrity mum with their child and there will most likely be hundreds of comments telling them what they are doing wrong, from how the child is dressed, to how the mother is holding them. Or, god forbid, if the mother dares to leave her baby in the first year of its life. Grace Under Pressure explores the repercussions of allowing these pressures to overrun your life.

If you’re not already a mother, you may find this book terrifying. If you are a mother, it may trigger you. There is a glimpse into the additional pressure women place on each other through their often unwarranted ‘advice’. There are also very realistic examples shown through the Facebook Mums’ group chats shown at the end of some chapters. While they are fictional, often showing the ongoing commentary around the book’s events, they are sadly true to life. 

In contrast, the story brings laugh-out-loud and tear-jerking moments. There were surprising twists and heart-warming reminders that we are all human and need to stop being so hard on ourselves and each other.

This was a really enjoyable book. It’s a great book club read or just to share with your girlfriends. This is also a brilliant book to share with your Baby Daddy (or partner who is not the primary caregiver) when they need a reminder of how much mental work is involved with looking after kids, while having a laugh. 

Reviewed by Jessica Incoll
Twitter: @littlejadventur

Distributed by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Released: 3 March 2021
RRP: $29.99

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