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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman
Published by Henry Holt and Company ISBN 9781250124692
Hardcover $26, 304 pages

Summer is a great time for light reading, and I love nothing more than picking up a really funny book and laughing my head off. Laurie Gelman's debut novel, Class Mom, caught my eye with its title. Since I was a class mom more than once, I bet I could relate to this one.

From the very beginning, Class Mom had me in stitches. Jen Dixon has two daughters (by two different men) in college and is now happily married to "Baby Daddy #3 and Husband #1" Ron Dixon. They have a young son Max, now headed to kindergarten.

Jen gets a call from her best friend and "reigning high priestess of the school's PTA" Nina, begging her to be class mom for Max's class. Jen was class mom for seven consecutive years when the girls were in elementary school, a record that still stands at William Taft Elementary, and it was the worst job she had since she worked at Allstate.

Now she is the oldest, "oh, sorry, wisest" mom in kindergarten, and she reluctantly takes the job as class mom. The highlights of the book are Jen's hilarious and sarcastic emails sent to the parents that, according to the author, were based on the ones she sent to parents when she was class mom at her child's New York City school. (She was fired from her position.)

Jen's emails are everything every class mom wishes she had the guts and humorous instincts to send, including rewards for those who respond quickly to emails and punishments to those who don't. They are filled with shout-outs, un-PC statements, and cutting sarcasm that some of the parents either don't understand or are very upset about. Jen does get called to the principal's office.

We meet the various parents, including one whose child is allergic/sensitive to everything (or maybe it is the mom who is that way?), one family who always volunteers to bring cups, and one mom who always sends the fastest response stating that she is out of the office. Every. Single.Time.

Miss Ward, the kindergarten teacher, is a bit of a puzzle too. She is young, dresses way too provocatively for Parent's Night, and doesn't believe in celebrating class holidays, like Halloween and Christmas. Her idea of a class trip is to go to the city recycling center.

One of the dad's in the class is an old high school crush's of Jen's, separated from his child's mother. There is some fun sexual tension there, though Jen deeply loves her wonderful husband Ron.

Jen and Nina try to figure out who is the mysterious "out of office" mom (why has no one met her?) and what the deal is with Miss Ward, as well as work to keep Jen from getting fired from her volunteer class mom position.

You don't need to be a former class mom to enjoy Class Mom, but if you are, you will laugh until you cry with recognition reading this hilarious book. I gave my favorite class mom friend a copy and she agreed with me.

I give Class Mom my highest recommendation- an A+.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a must read and perfect for gearing up for September's return to school.