The laugh-out-loud funny debut novel from Hornby takes on motherhood with the same laser-beam cultural observations of the best chick lit. American readers may have difficulty with certain references and there isn’t much of a plot, but the lively writing and well-drawn characters make this novel entertaining and a good read.
A new headmaster at St. Ambrose primary school is just the beginning of the changes that are in store for the women whose lives revolve around their children, their fundraising and their friendships. At the center of it all is queen bee Beatrice, who was Rachel’s best friend just last year. But the soon-to-be-divorced Rachel is now ignored by Beatrice, no longer invited to lunch, to exercise or to do Beatrice’s work for the never-ending community fundraisers. On her own, Rachel is forced to create a new image of herself. In the process, she finds lasting friendships with Heather, who is desperate to belong, too; content and fertile Georgie; and Melissa, the newcomer who rivals Beatrice for control of the school’s mommy squad. As Rachel finds happiness within herself, and with a new man, Beatrice gets her well-deserved comeuppance. (REAGAN ARTHUR, Sep., 352 pp., $25.00)