The BookBrowse Review

Published January 22, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

printable version
This is a free edition of our twice-monthly magazine, The BookBrowse Review,
which is just one of the benefits of membership for the equivalent of just $3.25 a month.
Join | Renew | Library Subscriptions | Gift Memberships
Back    Next

Contents

In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Reviews
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

Discussions are open to all members to read and post. Click to view the books currently being discussed.

Publishing Soon

Novels


Historical Fiction


Short Stories/Essays


Mysteries


Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Biography/Memoir


History, Science & Current Affairs


Young Adults

Novels


Thrillers


Extras
Book Jacket

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes
by Kathleen West
4 Feb 2020
384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books
ISBN-13: 9780593098400
Genre: Novels
mail to a friend   

Perfect for fans of Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions, a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High - the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle - and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.

When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds with each other find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin.
 
Isobel Johnson has spent her career in Liston Heights sidestepping the community's high-powered families. But when she receives a threatening voicemail accusing her of Anti-Americanism and a liberal agenda, she's in the spotlight. Meanwhile, Julia Abbott, obsessed with the casting of the school's winter musical, makes an error in judgment that has far-reaching consequences for her entire family.
 
Brought together by the sting of public humiliation, Isobel and Julia learn firsthand how entitlement and competition can go too far, thanks to a secret Facebook page created as an outlet for parent grievances. The Liston Heights High student body will need more than a strong sense of school spirit to move past these campus dramas in an engrossing debut novel that addresses parents behaving badly and teenagers speaking up, even against their own families.

"[J]ust as good as Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, debut author West offers a sharp, unflinching look at her characters...An excellent, nuanced exploration of the world of high school and the students and adults who live within it." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"While many different characters flash by in short chapters...staving off opportunities for emotional complexity, West successfully unpacks the problems of shaming and cancel culture with tight plotting and clean prose." - Publishers Weekly

"A smart and delightful story of entitlement, friendship, and overparenting, with page-turning twists galore. West writes across lines of class and generation with grace and ease. A big-hearted debut." - Bruce Holsinger, author of The Gifted School

"As intriguing as it is timely. West provides a funny and shocking glimpse into American parenting through the lens of an out-of-control stage mother who has lost all sense of boundaries." - Amy Poeppel, author of Limelight

"Helicopter parenting and high school politics at their worst—and funniest. A smart, fast-paced, and deliciously entertaining debut!" - Meg Donohue, USA Today bestselling author of You, Me, and the Sea

Kathleen West is a veteran middle and high-school teacher. She graduated with a degree in English from Macalester College and holds a Master's degree in literacy education from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her hilarious husband, two sporty sons, and very bad goldendoodle.

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.