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Class Mom: A Novel by Laurie Gelman

Class Mom: A Novel (original 2017; edition 2017)

by Laurie Gelman (Author)

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6921173,491 (4.02)2
Title:Class Mom: A Novel
Authors:Laurie Gelman (Author)
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (2017), 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Class Mom: A Novel by Laurie Gelman (2017)



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The Goodreads synopsis describes the plot very well. I enjoyed this immensely; it was funny, quirky and peopled with relatable, sympathetic yet realistically flawed characters. I'm very glad I have never been a Class Mom. ( )
  pgchuis | Sep 30, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jen Dixon is back in kindergarten. She thought her days as "Class Mom" were behind her: Jen's two daughters are in college after all. But Jen, at age forty-six, is back on the Mom circuit, with her first husband, Ron, and five-year-old son, Max. This is Jen's chance to do things over again, with a husband and the security she lacked the first time around. So when her best friend Nina (also PTA President) asks Jen to be Class Mom, she agrees. The duties of Class Mom seem fairly simple--coordinate field trips, set up class parties, and send out emails to the other parents. Jen does this with aplomb and a fairly decent level of sarcasm, which isn't always appreciated by all the parents. At the same time, she's training for a mud run and attempting to keep the flame going in her marriage with Ron. It doesn't help when she discovers that her high school crush is another parent in Max's class. Jen has a lot going on--can she juggle it all?

This book appealed to me on LibraryThing as I have two daughters in kindergarten and am suddenly in the midst of the whole school dynamic. Luckily, things aren't quite as dramatic as the school portrayed in Gelman's novel! The book came along at a pretty good time, as I've read a string of fairly serious thrillers recent. It's certainly a funny and fast read.

I couldn't help but like Jen. She's an engaging protagonist. Her struggles as a parent, wife, and friend are realistic and yet humorous. Her surrounding cast of characters, while not quite as fleshed out, are also funny, though not perhaps always as realistic (more on that later). I enjoyed that her husband, best friend, and kids weren't the typical stereotypes or cardboard cutouts you often see in novels, but real people, with issues of their own.

Also enjoyable was the way the novel interspersed Jen's emails to the class at the beginnings of many chapters (along with a variety of replies). They were usually funny and lightened up the book and surprisingly moved the plot along fairly well. They also made me grateful for some of the lack of politics at my kids' school--so far. It's still early though, sigh!

The only problem for me was that a lot of the good in this book--great characters, humor--was marred a bit by just a lot going on--not all of it completely believable. There are some silly plotlines thrown in that almost don't seem necessary and once resolved, are a bit disappointing. There's one last "shocker" tossed in at the very end of the novel that did surprise me somewhat, but I'm not really sure it was needed.

Still, this is a very engaging and fun novel for a first-time novelist. It's not a pretentious literary piece, but it's not aiming to be. Instead, it's certainly a witty and fascinating look at the craziness that happens in your children's classrooms. 3.5 stars.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and LibraryThing (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 08/01/2017.

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  justacatandabook | Sep 20, 2017 |
This is a strong showing from new author, Laurie Gelman. I could not stop laughing. If you are looking for a good, hilarious time than you need no apply or look any further than Class Mom. Jen is my hero. Who knew that Class Mom held the distinguished title of "Nazi". Hail Hitler! Oh my bad, it might have been the title of "Pope". An easy mistake; especially when Jen is talking about "pressing some flesh, kissing babies, and world peace".

I don't have any children other than the four legged variety. Yet, after reading this book I am considering volunteering at one of my local schools to be "class mom". The best parts about this book were the emails that Jen sent out to the parents instructing them on all of Jen's rules. Heaven forbid you did not respond fast enough, you would be assigned a task that could include bringing something to a school function, the last time slot on Friday for parent/teacher conference, or as a chaperone on a field trip.

Although, Jen was not the only star in this book. There is Garth, the personal trainer, Don the sexy fox, Peetsa (pronounced Pizza), Asami, rival class mom, Ms. Ward, Max's teacher, and Sasha Lewicki, the mysterious. Laurie Gelman scores an perfect A+ with Class Mom! ( )
  Cherylk | Sep 9, 2017 |
Laugh-out-loud funny! Kirkus review says “Gelman's debut is a literary stand-up routine, and you might as well just give in: this woman is going to get a laugh out of you.” The one “class mom” you will never forget.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Sep 4, 2017 |
Essentially chick lit/ beach read, but nevertheless very funny and unique. Most parents of kindergartners are in their twenties and thirties, but Jen Dixon a former INXS groupie with two girls in college, is about to break that mold. Her son Max is entering kindergarten and the duty of class mom falls on her shoulders. She sends out her emails with wit and sarcasm in order to whip up volunteers for events, foods, and crafts. Told through emails and narrative, this book reads quickly and is laugh out loud funny at points. Great for moms breaking the molds or anyone who loves chicklit with lots of good laughs. ( )
  ecataldi | Aug 24, 2017 |
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This book is dedicated with love to my husband, Michael, and our daughters, Jamie and Misha.  Without the three of you, I would never have been a class mom.
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I click Send on my laptop, sit back in my chair, and grimace.
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