This book is about how mothers/women tend to see and judge one another on appearance only. How these days it is of the utmost importance that they get their children into the “proper” pre-school. Sort of a take on the much-talked-about “helicopter mom.”
It is a look at gossip, and how it changes in increments as it continues to fly about town. By the time it comes full circle, it is hardly even the same story!
Madeline was my favorite character. She is a strong-willed, ready-to- pounce-on-anyone-who-treats-her-friends-badly sort of woman. I would feel safe with Madeline on my side.
Drama follows her wherever she goes. (Or perhaps it is the other way around, and Madeline follows drama.) Big and bold and full of color, is how I would describe Madeline. And loyal to the core.
Then there is Celeste. So beautiful in every way that people stop on the street to stare at her. Married to a very handsome and wealthy man. Beautiful twin sons. Everyone thinks they must surely live the ideal life.
But as we all know, no one lives the ideal life. And it is oftentimes in these very circumstances when life is really barely tolerable. That’s all I will say on that so as not to ruin it for you.
There is young Jane who comes to town with her little boy, who she tells everyone is the result of a one night stand. She moves them about every six months, looking for the best place for them to live, to be happy. To be normal. And possibly to hide from what haunts her.
This book is about bullying in schools. What it does to the family of the child who is bullied. And then we must think about the family of the child who has been labeled a bully. Victims all around.
This book makes you think. It startles you out of your everyday reverie. It is funny and it is sad, alternately. It is about a society where the bullying of children has oftentimes drastic consequences. And with the advent of social media, is ever more commonplace.
I think my favorite part of this book was the way it was put together. With bits and pieces of what the townspeople had to say in judgment, as one often does when they don’t have all the facts. The author sort of weaved these tidbits into the story, which I thought was a fantastic element in her plot.
And of course I loved the three female protagonists.