Like Julia Roberts at every single awards show, I’m gonna go ahead and make this review all about me.
You see, I am a stay-at-home mom with three kids in elementary school. I am the room mother for the kindergarten class. I live in a suburb just outside of Washington DC that is equal parts hard-working folks who are doing ok and CRAZY MONEY PEOPLE.
Lots of other moms at school come to volunteer dressed to the nines — in outfits straight off the runway, hair and make up perfect, skinny as a rail, in tottering high heels. I usually show up in jeans and doc martens or straight from the gym in running clothes. Waiting for PTA meetings to start, they all gossip about the new resort they just stayed at on some island I’ve never heard of. I sit and read my paperback of A Dance With Dragons (side note: almost done!).
I get emails and texts from all the kindergarten moms asking about nut allergies, party invitations, playdates, vaccinations (YES, THIS), and where to find the best French tutors.
Other moms scratch their heads and seriously ask me why we were bothering to add an addition to our house. Why wouldn’t we just tear the whole thing down and build a bigger house?
This is just some of the madness in my town. Its all friendly enough, really. But there isn’t much mingling between the groups. Parents mostly stick to their own kind, like there’s an invisible barrier running through the town. Like high school, all over again.
And so, it was pretty easy for me to quickly fall into the world that Liane Moriarty created in the fictional town of Pirriwee. Except luckily, nobody has ever died at one of our school’s parent functions. Yet. Really, its only a matter of time.
But enough about me. What about the book? After seeing review after review in January, I had to see for myself what all the hype was about. And when it was $3.99 on Kindle, I couldn’t resist.
I enjoyed this book immensely — I read it in about 24 hours and picked it up any chance I had. While parts were ridiculous (teenage girl auctioning off her virginity online?), other parts hit close to home (party invitations. the worst.). I enjoyed how the story was primarily told from the perspectives of Madeline, Celeste, and Jane — each representing a very different type of school parent that I know. And the secondary characters like the “Blonde Bobs” were all too realistic. But it was fun the way that Moriarty used police reports and interviews as a way to get to know all of the other parents.
HERE BE SPOILERS:
I was surprised by the identity of the victim (I had pretty much guessed every single character at one point or another), but didn’t buy into the way that everyone was hiding information from the police in order to protect Bonnie. I get that Madeline would want to protect Celeste, and that Jane might not want the world to know about her relationship with Perry, but lying about the incident simply didn’t ring true for me.
But other than that, no complaints from me. I thought it was a fun read, and I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for some of Moriarty’s other books.
You can read the rest of my reviews on my blog.