Blurb: 2020 was supposed to be a great year. Unfortunately, Tom Cooper, like the rest of the world, is going to be spending the next few months trapped in the middle of a pandemic. Stuck inside a small flat with sole responsibility for his two single-digit children, Tom is plunged into a world of homeschooling, supermarket feuds and alfresco workout sessions, not to mention trying to keep tabs on ageing parents who won’t stay home.
Faced with the problems of cash-strapped tooth fairies, buying a rat trap online, and an NHS-supporting arms race with an elderly neighbour, Tom realises he must rise to the occasion, but when his girlfriend asks for an erotic photo of his rapidly deteriorating body, it might just be one step too far…
Join Tom as he navigates lockdown in this hilarious stand-alone novel from the author of The Rebuilding of Tom Cooper. Laugh-out-loud with real heart, lockdown has never been so entertaining.
This book is the perfect antidote to lockdown blues!
Spencer Brown captures the lockdown-with-young-kids experience perfectly – anxiety-ridden shopping trips, Zoom meetings, Facetime calls with family and friends, daily exercise (bless, and curse, you, Joe Wicks!), hoarding and toilet paper shortages, home-schooling, NHS clapping and window rainbows – it’s all in there and it’s all completely relatable and yet somehow much funnier than the real experience.
Tom Cooper is a brilliant main character. He’s something of a ‘Bridget Jones’ with his constant self-doubt and wryly witty observations, and I was rooting for him from beginning to end. He needed it too! The story follows his day-to-day struggles with parenting small children in isolation whilst also trying to work, long-distance date, deal with aggravating parents/in-laws and minimise the damage to his increasingly wobbly reputation. Faced with any tricky situation the one constant is that Tom will manage to choose the course that will make him feel silly.
In addition to being literally laugh-out-loud hilarious (that kind of loud, snorting bark of a laugh that makes people stare at you), there are also some very touching moments with children and parents, that had me tearing up a bit and appreciating my own loved ones that much more. The emotional blend of humour, fear, frustration, loneliness, anxiety and hope rings perfectly true to my experience of UK lockdown. Although I’ll admit Tom did better than us at the home-schooling… I’m pretty sure my two un-learned somehow during my teaching stint!
I definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for a quick, warm and fuzzy, feel-good read and I have added The Rebuilding of Tom Cooper (Spencer Brown’s previous Tom Cooper book) to my Christmas list. With the current world-situation, it is exactly what I need to lift my spirits and remind me to look on the lighter side of life/lockdown!
It’s such a relief when I finally put the kids to bed. How long are the schools going to be shut for? This is impossible. And it’s day one. At least if I had someone else to help, I could go for a walk on my own, get some space, but instead I’m going to be with them non-stop for all their waking hours for God knows how many months. I don’t think things could get any worse.– Spencer Brown, The Lockdown Diary of Tom Cooper
It’s 8:30 when Boris announces we’re going into full on lockdown.
Don’t forget to check out the other blog stops on the tour for more great reviews and content (see the poster below for details)!