Release date: March 16, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.
When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice’s social standing is quickly eroded to one of “those moms” who can’t control her kids. Soon she’s facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn’t made of glass).
Then her mother unloads a family secret she’s kept for more than thirty years, and Alice’s entire perception of herself is shattered.
As her son’s new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother’s choices, Alice realizes that she’s been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else’s standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she’ll have to figure out to whom to turn for help and decide who she really wants to be.
With a twelve year old daughter set to be a seventh grader next year this one read a bit like a cautionary tale to me. I don’t mean that in a bad way, more like it brought all my worst fears to life but in a very relatable, witty and entertaining way. It tackles some very relevant and timely topics and I think many parents will be super engaged with this one.
I love a family drama, and even better for me is when there are multiple points of view and this one has several. You have from Alice and her son Teddy, and her mom Evelyn. Then there’s Meredith and her daughter Sadie and a couple of random chapters from other characters that I don’t want to spoil. It provided a delicious birds eye view of the events that unfolded in an insightful way and I was totally wrapped up in the drama of all of the characters. A really engaging read that surprisingly gave me a lot to think about.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.