I don’t have kids and have never been a class mom, however, I know TOO MUCH about thankless jobs because I am in HR and literally get paid to listen to people complain to me all day. There is nothing too petty, it seems, to bring to my office and there is no such thing as making everyone happy. I don’t really remember why I even picked up Class Mom by Laurie Gelman – but probably because I needed a break from books about vicious, bloody murder and wanted a change of pace. I was desperately hoping that this would not turn into a book where the term ‘kiddo’ was used in any capacity and luckily it was not. In fact, the writing reminded me a bit of Maria Semple in a genuinely funny way.
Jen Dixon is the Midwestern mom of a new kindergarten student, Max. What makes her a bit different from the droves of cookie cutter moms in Lululemon Formation is that she is in her forties, with two daughters in college, and spent her twenties traveling the world as a groupie for INXS. Not much can phase her, so when her PTA President friend signs her up to be the class mother she jumps in to what she assumes will be a breezy job forgetting the basic tenant of life … most people are assholes.
The book is light and humorous and structured around Jen’s entirely inappropriate emails urging parents to be involved and responsive in their children’s lives. There are some very comical story lines around an ex-boyfriend, new friends, and new enemies and there are helicopter parents galore. Parental politics will be nothing new to anyone with a kid, but the audience for this book is wider thanks to Gelman’s irreverent and snarky humor.
Class Mom – Grade B