Original post at 125pages.com
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Preschooled by Anna Lefler
Published by Full Fathom Five Digital on October 1, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Humorous, Family Life, Contemporary Women
Buy on Amazon
Behind the toddler-proof gate of Santa Monica’s exclusive Garden of Happiness, it’s the grown-ups who are getting schooled.
When new preschool parent Justine discovers that the man who broke her heart back in grad school is a dad in her daughter’s class, she tells herself she’s immune to the superficial charms of the ex she calls “the crapwizard.” But when his presence opens a time tunnel of potent memories from her life before motherhood, she must find a way to defuse her old attraction to him before it undermines her marriage.
Then there’s Ruben, rookie stay-at-home dad and standup comic who quits his day job to pursue his TV-writing dream on his wife’s condition that he take her place among the “power mommies” on the school committees.
And ruling the sand box with an iron fist is Margaret, whose ongoing divorce from her dentist-turned-New Age-surfer husband forces her to rely on her dubious people skills in order to keep the school that has become the cornerstone of her identity.
When the new school year kicks off with a flight-risk rabbit named Ozone, a school secretary in desperate need of a social filter, and some double-barreled committee recruiting tactics, it’s not all juice and cookies for Justine, Ruben, and Margaret as they struggle to play nice.
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Preschooled reminded me of Mommy Tracked by Whitney Gaskell and the spate of similar books that came out in 2006-2008. Sanctimommies abound and the main character/s are the only sane ones around, usually with a clueless/unsupportive spouse. I actually like books like this; yes they are formulaic but they are also fun. The three main characters all revolved around a prestigious preschool in swanky Beverly Hills where the children have ridiculous names and the tuition is on par with an Ivy League university. This one was slightly off formula as it also includes the beleaguered but stoic owner Margaret as one of the main characters. It was nice to have a mature voice included. I also particularly enjoyed the stay at home dad Reuben and his bewildered observations on the posh mommy set. So Preschooled is not award winning literature, but it was well written, engaging and just plain cute.
Favorite lines from Chapter 11 – “What was the big deal about preschool, anyway? Some of these parents acted like their child’s entire future hinged on their performance at circle-rug song time. You think that weak clapping is going to get you into an Ivy League school? Now, try it again from where the wheels on the bus are going ’round and ’round, and this time I want to hear you sell it!”
Biggest cliché – “I’m happily married but then I see my old love again; maybe I was wrong and they are my perfect match. Oh why did I choose…”
What formulaic books do you actually enjoy?