Are We There Yet

Kathleen West. Berkley, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-09843-1
In West’s funny page-turner (after Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes), a mother struggles to help her children navigate the challenges of school without losing sight of her career. Alice Sullivan’s life is imploding. Her daughter, Adrian, is behind in second grade reading; her seventh grader, Teddy, is accused of bullying a classmate; her architectural design business partner is losing patience over Alice’s personal life distractions; and Alice’s husband is often away on business trips. The narrative unfolds via several viewpoints, including Alice’s friend Meredith Yoshida; Meredith’s synchronized-skating champ daughter, Sadie; Alice’s adoptive mother, Evelyn Brown, a psychologist; and Teddy, who taunts Sadie over suggestive photos posted on her “Finsta” account. Meanwhile, a series of lewd drawings appear around town (“Who would draw a rocket ship in permanent ink?” asks a concerned, naive parent on NextDoor). West has her hand on the pulse of adolescent angst fed by academic and social pressure, jealousies and raging hormones—all compounded by social media—but also the self-doubts experienced by parents (mothers in particular) who can be as lost as their children when it comes to handling the challenges of puberty. Soulful and entertaining, this offers plenty of insight on the space children need to make their own mistakes. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/29/2020
Release date: 03/16/2021
Genre: Fiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-09845-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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