Englischsprachige Literatur

Wilson Jacqueline

The Illustrated Mum

Random House, London 1999


This is a teenagers´ book, really, and Wilson has written dozens of them. “The Illustrated Mum” has won the Children´s Book of the Year Award 2000 and Nick Sharratt, who illustrated it, deserves most of the credit, I would say.

Marigold, a young mother of two girls, literally is the illustrated mum, as she is tatooed all over. Wilson narrates her story by telling about her different tatoos, starting with “Cross”. Her elder daughter Star becomes more and more embarrassed by the strange outfit and behaviour of her mum. Marigold is partying all night and alternately drinks herself senseless. Her daughters have to put up with so much, that in the end they can´t handle their mentally instable mum any more. The side effect is that both girls find their respective fathers. Star stays with her father Nick and his new girlfriend, Dolphin´s father puts her into a foster family and to Dolphin´s surprise her foster mother turns out to be just great.

I wonder if Wilson is a social worker by profession. Her message throughout the book is to get professional help if your family life is in trouble.