Review by K.T Sullivan
The school year opens at St. Ambrose. Children full of anticipation fear, and nerves hustle into the building to see what lies in store for them. Their mothers anxiously wait outside to see how the pecking order shakes out for them too. They are the severest critics of each other’s child raising abilities, husbands, and households. Even cake baking and laundry skills are graded. Beatrice is the reigning queen and decides who gets picked for committees and who does not. Heather is on the outside, peeking in. How can she be seen without being assertive and upsetting the status quo? How to stage the palace coup of Bea while looking like an innocent bystander?
Hornsby has checked the pulse of the moms everywhere. Mean girls grow up and don’t change their spots. Instead they bring their sharpened claws back for another round. The lunch room mentality never leaves them. The true journeys of acceptance and validation don’t stop after graduation. The story reflects back on the mom school culture and the picture rings true. The women are easily relatable as are the school activities. The children’s final test questions in the last chapter are fun. She had me checking the Internet for the ones I didn’t know.
Gill Hornby writes a column for The Telegraph and is the author of several non-fiction books. She lives in Berkshire, England with her husband and their four children.
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