A hilarious and deliciously scathing send-up of motherhood as practiced in the upper echelons of Manhattan society, from the coauthor of The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing.
The mothers on Manhattan’s chic Upper East Side are highly educated, extremely wealthy, and very competitive. They throw themselves and all of their energy and resources into full-time child rearing, turning their kids into the unwitting pawns in a game where success is measured in precocious achievements, jam-packed schedules, and elite private-school pedigrees.
Hannah Allen has recently moved to the neighborhood with her New York City–bred investment banker husband and their two-year-old daughter, Violet. She’s immediately inundated by an outpouring of advice from her not-so-well-intentioned new friends and her overbearing, socially conscious mother-in-law, who coach her on matters ranging from where to buy the must-have $300 baby dress to how to get into the only pre-pre-preschool that counts. Despite her better instincts and common sense, Hannah soon finds herself caught up in the competitive whirl of high-stakes mothering.
Kargman is no worse off without writing partner Carrie Karasyov (The Right Address; Wolves in Chic Clothing) in her first solo novel, a breezy jaunt through the Manhattan nursery grinder. Recently relocated to the Upper East Side from San Francisco after her husband, Josh, took a lucrative job, Hannah Allen is thrown into the mommy snake pit by her domineering mother-in-law, Lila Allen Dillingham, who introduces Hannah to a cabal of neighborhood moms led by the "drop dead gorgissima" Bee Elliott. Hannah, a black-jeans-and-Converse art history grad and mother of too-cute two-year-old Violet, struggles to please Lila and keep up with Bee's hypercompetitive crew of "Kelly-bag-toting, Chanel-suit-wearing, Bugaboo-pushing sharks" who fret over their children's head circumferences and admissions into pre-preschools with three-year waiting lists. There's no shortage of name-dropping and light humor as Hannah struggles to win a co-op board's approval, keep her marriage afloat and get Violet into Carnegie Nursery School. Though a bevy of "awky" abbreviations litter the narrative ("unfortch" "sitch," "actsch"), Kargman writes with verve. Fans of the genre won't be disappointed.
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What a great read! Had me laughing out loud!