Friday, 4 July 2014

Review - The School Gate Survial Guide by Kerry Fisher

Feisty Maia Etxeleku is a cleaner for ladies who lunch. She spends her life wiping up spilt Sauvignon and hoovering around handbags before rushing back home to skivvy after her children's feckless father on an estate where survival depends on your ability to look the other way.
But an unusual inheritance catapults her into a different world where no child can survive without organic apricots and Kumon maths classes – and no woman can contemplate a week without Pilates and pedicures.
As she blunders through a middle class minefield, dashing from coffee mornings to her mops and buckets, she is drawn to the one man who can help her family fit in. But is his interest in her purely professional or will her modern My Fair Lady experiment end in disaster?

This was such a good book, which I couldn't wait to read more of.  I loved and connected with the character of Maia from the very first page.  She was a mom first and foremost who was doing what she thought was the right thing for her children even if that meant putting her own happiness to the back of the pile.  I could completely relate to this and loved her for it. 

Her partner was abusive to her, not particularly physically but certainly mentally, and completely dragged her down each day with his laziness, grumpiness and general lack of respect for her and his children.  When she met people who showed her that people can be nice, and made new friends, she realised that there was more to life and she took control which is such a difficult and brave thing to do.

I'd have loved to be friends with Maia and also with her new friend from school: Clover who was completely fabulous.  She didn't care what people thought of her and Maia learned a lot from her.  Mr Peters was also a bit of a hero in my eyes.  I liked his character a lot!

The plot was great, the writing was brilliant, the characters adorable (except for Colin who I hated with quite a passion - the lazy arse!), the ending was perfect and fabulous.  It really was an excellently entertaining read that I would highly recommend.   

The only thing that I struggled with in this book was pronouncing Maia's surname as I found myself skipping over it each time as my head couldn't get round it! I know it was explained at one point in the book, but I still couldn't say it!

I will definitely read more from this author.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Kerry was brought up in Peterborough.  She now lives in Surrey with a very tolerant husband and two children.  She studied at Bath University and speaks fluent Italian, Spanish and French.  She also trained as a journalist at City University, then went on to write travel guides for Thomas Cook.

After landing her dream job working on women's magazines, she discovered that she wasn't able to write about real people in case their families got upset. 

The Writer's Program at the University of California helped her to move from fact to fiction - the perfect forum for exploring human emotions without worrying about some poor mother weeping over her son's account of his childhood.

Find out more about Kerry at her website

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