We have a new entrant for one of my favorite books of 2011- The Mother Daughter Show by Natalie Wexler. Loved, loved, loved it and found myself laughing out loud several times! Anyone who is a Mom in a type A PTA has to read this book, especially if you have a senior in high school.
The novel is set at the Barton Friends School, a take off on the Sidwell Friends School in D.C., where the Obama children go. The mothers of the seniors put on a show for their daughters, with skits and songs. The perennial Parents Asssociation volunteer (and we all know one, don’t we?) is in charge and recruits another mother, Amanda, to help with the lyrics of the songs. And then… enter Susan, the working mom who insists on “organizing” the show – which immediately translates to taking over.
Through these mothers’ stories, the drama intensifies as the show date draws closer. Wexler does an outstanding job of addressing very relevant issues today for kids that age and for their mothers. Mothers in this book are dealing with aging/dying parents, the cost of college, going back into the workforce, dealing with the workforce while raising kids all while navigating their own children’s college acceptance process and other issues.
Reading this book is real life for those of whose children attend schools with over the top Parents’ Associations. I daresay I could have easily cast the characters in this book from moms I know. A few quotes from the book that I LOVED:
“No, Amanda really didn’t know Barb, except in the sense that everyone knew her. Barb was one of those mothers who- for reasons that Amanda could only guess at had chosen to devote her life to the Barton Friends Parents Association. Somtimes Amanda got an email a day from Barb, even though they hadn’t spoken except to say hello in years. It was Barb who’d sent the email about this meeting. And, she’d probably carted in the refreshments that covered one of the cafeteria tables; chocolate chip cookies, cheese and crackers, bottles of water.”
“A number of women had helped themselves to water, but the food remained untouched. The protocol seemed to prohibit actual eating.”
“Something about Allie’s tone, her words was familiar, Susan thought. And then it hit her: Allie sounded exactly the way she had just now, dodging her own mother’s unwanted efforts to communicate.”
And I just adore this one.. “So what if they’d put in one of those kitchen islands that were de rigueur these das? One island? Barb Atkins’ kitchen had an entire archipelago.”
This book is simply a “happy” that all moms need to read
Goldberg McDuffie Communications sent me this book to review. All opinions are my own.
What are you reading and where are you going?