About Up and In
A laugh-out-loud debut that will delight fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins, this is The Devil Wears Prada … at the school gates!
Distinctly middle-class parents, Maria and Joe have committed every bit of available income to giving their daughters Kate and Sarah the best education possible, which to them means attending the most exclusive girls school in the state. But when Kate befriends the spoilt and moody Mirabella, Maria must learn to play nicely with Mirabella’s mother, Bea – the beguiling yet beastly queen of the toffee-nosed school mothers at Riverton.
A series of social blunders and intentional snubs make Maria determined to ensure Kate’s rightful position both at school and on the Saturday morning netball team, but as Maria works hard to negotiate the social hierarchy, her previously contented life with Joe falls far from view.
With her mastery of dialogue and character, Australian author Deborah Disney skillfully balances keen and witty observations about daily life with the more serious issues of schoolyard bullying and social isolation.
You will laugh, you will nod along, and you will want to take the increasingly neurotic Maria aside and point out that in all her desperate, gaffe-filled attempts to fit in with the well-heeled, champagne-swilling mummies of Riverton, she might just be risking all that she holds dear.
Every mom out there will be able to relate to Disney’s sketch. Whether you are on the sidelines, in the midst or a survivor you will be able to grasp both the desire and fiasco so well depicted.
Disney nails characterization, her characters are three-deminsonal, animated. You’ll find yourself empathetic and frustrated with their behavior because they are so lifelike.
Plenty of humor peppered throughout, a few surprises tossed in for good measure create an all around enjoyable yet poignant read.
Maria was far more involved than I would have expected given her smarts. She entered the madness and just couldn’t extricate herself easily. When the poor behavior started spilling onto her daughter, let alone marriage, my heart was heavy. I will say Maria demonstrated a kindness I could never have mustered after her ordeal, clearly a better person than I would have been when all was said and done.
Fun read, brutally honest no doubt stirring a few feathers with its accuracy, moms know very well this scenario exists, choosing to be part of it is up to you but it is a bold portrayal of a reality at its finest.
Australian author, Deborah Disney, practised as a litigation lawyer prior to finding her true calling in the school pick-up line where she started typing a little story on the notes app on her iPhone one afternoon. That little story turned into a book, and before too long that book turned her into a published author with HarperCollins.
Deborah is Wife to a patient and understanding man, and Mum to two school-aged daughters and one Border Collie, all of whom take turns at being her favourite. The two things she values most in people are kindness and humour. And when they praise her work. Which she finds both kind and funny, as she can’t imagine writing novels ever feeling anything like work.
Deborah’s first novel, Up and In, hit the bestseller charts on both Amazon and iBooks and has enjoyed international acclaim. Deborah is currently working on her second novel, which is about in-laws.
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Published December 1st 2014 by HarperCollins