by Bruce Holsinger
What happens when a brand new, public, gifted school starts up in a community filled with wealthy, privileged, competitive people who want nothing more than for their kids to have the very best education? Add to that mix, a small part of town with the opposite demographic whose kids also get to apply for the same school. Add to that, a group of four best friends and their families who are all competing for spots in this prestigious new school, and you have a great premise for a story.
The story follows a group of four families who do everything together. Their kids have been raised together, the husbands put up with each other, and the women depend on one another as life throws its curveballs at them. But when the gifted school begins its admissions process, best friends are pitted against each other and true feelings that were always buried deep begin to rise to the surface.
Every parent has felt the pressure for their child to be “normal” or better yet, “above average.” We all feel extra proud when our children do something extraordinary and giving in to these feelings, letting them run wild, is what this book describes in detail.
The story was riveting, and this is surprising to me because there were not many characters to like. Everyone has a dark side, and when we act on behalf of our kids, it almost seems like anything should be allowed, understood, and expected. But how far should a parent go to make sure their child has the greatest advantages in life? How far is too far? And what is worth losing in order to get what you want for your child? And when does it become more about what the parent wants and not at all about what is good for the child?
These questions and more came up at our book club discussion and pointed directly to recent news about the college admissions scandal raging across the country. It’s an easy, interesting, thought-provoking ride. You won’t find your new favorite fictional character here, but you may find excellent fodder for the kind of person, the kind of parent you DON’T want to be.
Bruce Holsinger is a talented author. He’s written a fast read that will make you think and think again.
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Content: some cussing – most of it one character.