This non fiction comes to us via my husband and the yard sale. It is another of the ‘christian fiction’ set, though Christianity is not displayed quite so prominently, or prominently at all. If I did not know where this book came from, I would just assume it was another set of memoirs that didn’t need to be written as nothing of import actually happens. For a majority of the book, I was unaware that the stories were about real people, and the knowledge that they WERE real people didn’t help.
Alfred Toombs has just returned from WWII to find his wife has been unable to perform her motherly/wifely duties and is sent somewhere for therapy. I am going to stop here to tell you that THIS would have been an interesting story from a non fiction perspective. What happened to the wife? Where did she go? How did the kids react? Did she get better? How did Toombs feel about it all? But no, this interesting tidbit is a mere set up to show all the riot that comes next, I suppose. Aside from the sentence detailing why Toombs is the sole parent responsible for three active children, he never mentions his wife again. Weird? Yes. Intriguing? Oh, yes… but a wasted opportunity. The rest of the book follows Toombs as he adjusts to his role as mother and father and the antics that follow. Frankly, I found all his stories a bit too trite and a but too cute for me. The kids, Larry, Lynn, and Janie are a pack of spoiled brats and I don’t think their time with Mr. Mom improved them any. Toombs seems unable to establish any form of discipline and spends the entirety of the book acquiring unwanted pets and dodging truant officers while moving his family willy nilly from his parents summer cottage to Florida and back again. Each chapter is vignette of sorts that ends with light heartedness and optimism. I don’t know if this was a general feeling at the time, or people hid their desperation better, but this book didn’t come across as human OR authentic OR humorous.