The School Run by Helen Whitaker
Publishing Date: 8th August 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Two mothers. Two best friends. One school place.
Old friends, Imogen and Lily realise they are both applying for a school place at St Peter and Paul’s Infant School – one of the prestigious schools in the area. Their daughters, Enid and Winnie, quickly become the best of friends.
The two women have led different lives since their cohabiting days of hangovers, unsuitable boyfriends and wild nights out.
But from faking their beliefs to bogus breakups, as competition heats up, the two women will go to any lengths to get their daughters in to the perfect primary school. And so will all the other mothers.
Lily and Imogen (and many other parents) are desperate to get their daughter to the highly appraised St. Peter and Paul’s school, but it isn’t too easy – you have to live at the right address, show your dedication to the school and its beliefs, be a devoted church goer and those are only few of the things they’re ready to go. But won’t they forget, among all of those little wars and school – gate politics, what’s really important?
I’m a sucker for any school run and not – so – yummy – mummies stories so I was probably the first in the virtual queue to sign for this blog tour. This book was, just like I hoped it’s going to be, brutally honest, and oh my, I’ll never stop wonder about all those school – gates politics, the tension, bitching and frenemies. It’s really stressful and I’m lucky that my daughter goes to school by bus, so I can avoid all of those above mentioned. However, with this book, I’m not so sure what it wanted to tell us, what was the story – yes, I know, about getting a place at school, but other than that? I missed more depth to it and consistency. But I, of course, appreciate what the author did with her story, touching upon so many burning and actual issues of being a parent, no matter if working/non – working, juggling life and job with trying to give your child the best future possible, and the book was just like real life, full of hopes and disappointments.
“The School Run” introduces us to a great number of characters but it’s really easy to follow them all and to know who is who and to whom they belong. Lily and Imogen are the main ones, in fact, they used to be friends but they haven’t seen each other for a long time so when they meet again dropping their daughters at school maybe their friendship has a chance of reviving? Their lives are not gardens full of roses and I sympathised with both of them, though I actually never warmed to any of them as much as I thought I’m going to, no particular reason why. There is also, of course, a group of “Organic” mums, led by Yasmine, who doesn’t feed their children any chocolate because of sugar of course. But no matter who you are, who your group is, how old are you and what’s your job, the author shows that parenthood is a hard job for all of them.
It was a genuine, honest and fast – paced novel about friendship and realising what is really important in life. Helen Whitaker’s writing style is refreshing, chatty and engaging and the story she tells make you nod when you realise that you’ve been in some of the situations at least once in your life.
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