Guaranteed to raise a smile, this book is full of cheer and immediacy, capturing humorous episodes from the life of a mother whose keen sense of fun helps her in the struggle to bring up her children alone. Thanks to her attempts to be both their mother and father, the apparently banal often becomes the absurd - but even in their darkest hours, her vital spirit always prevails, backed by the deep emotional bonds between her and her two sons. When they grow up, she seeks an exit from the vacuum they have left, realizing a series of crazy ideas and revealing more of her rare insight into the essence of human nature. Tatiana Kejvalova's book of loosely linked and highly readable humorous stories is a distillation of life's joys, and resonant with her own philosophy of life. Writ large between the lines is an optimism and faith, a tolerance and respect for others, and a fine grasp of the mind of a child. Her deft narrative of the beauty of everyday human existence adds a final touch of poetry to an exceptional book to which she has imparted a soul of its own.