Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery. Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?
Valerie’s witty, rollicking novel is an ode to modern motherhood in the vein of Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It (2002) and Francesca Segal’s The Awkward Age (2017). While the plot pacing lags a bit, Holly’s journey from shrinking violet to confident kindergarten parent will entertain until the last page. Holly’s rich inner world and a larger-than-life ensemble of supporting characters plant this novel firmly in the dark comedy camp, and it is perfect for fans of Matthew Norman and Francie Arenson Dickman. A charmingly cautionary tale of the pursuit for domestic perfection.
Debut author Valerie’s excellent take on modern motherhood illustrates a mother’s attempts to keep up with the Joneses. Full of humor, including a bout with one too many detox cookies, an online psychic, and a cat doula, Valerie plays out the drama of being a wife and a mother ... Perfect for fans of Laurie Gelman’s Class Mom series and the TV show Desperate Housewives.
There are many novels about women struggling to fit into upper-class communities, but debut author Valerie manages to create a story that feels fresh, with sparkling dialogue that could have come from a weirder version of Gilmore Girls. Most of that is due to Holly’s voice, which is quirky without ever being annoying, and the cast of wacky side characters who are satirical while still feeling like real human beings. There are even several laugh-out-loud moments, most of them revolving around the bug infestation destroying the town’s prized topiaries, a privileged problem that highlights just how hilariously ridiculous the Village of Primm is ... A unique and over-the-top look at modern motherhood, full of funny and cringeworthy moments.