Blog Tour: 'The School Gate Survival Guide' by Kerry Fisher
Feisty Maia Etxeleku is a cleaner for ladies who lunch. She spends her life wiping up spilt Sauvignon and hoovering around handbags before rushing back home to skivvy after her children's feckless father on an estate where survival depends on your ability to look the other way.
But an unusual inheritance catapults her into a different world where no child can survive without organic apricots and Kumon maths classes – and no woman can contemplate a week without Pilates and pedicures.
As she blunders through a middle class minefield, dashing from coffee mornings to her mops and buckets, she is drawn to the one man who can help her family fit in. But is his interest in her purely professional or will her modern My Fair Lady experiment end in disaster?
I’m honoured to be part of the blog tour for Kerry Fisher’s debut novel ‘The School Gate Survival Guide’ today! Kerry self-published the book in 2012 with the title ‘The Class Ceiling’, which became quite the success, and has now signed with Avon. The book has a new title and will be released as an e-book on the 3rd of July and the paperback version will follow on the 11th of September, with a second novel being published in 2015. I was curious to check out ‘The School Gate Survival Guide’, especially after having read numerous positive reviews, and looked forward to reading the book!
Maia Etxeleku works hard as a cleaner so she can take care of her two children while her partner Colin spends his time lazing around at home. Out of the blue, one of Maia’s favourite clients passes away and the elderly lady seemed to be quite fond of Maia, leaving her an unexpected inheritance. The money can’t be spend on just anything; it’s so Maia’s two children can attend an exclusive private school and get the best education possible. Suddenly, Maia finds herself standing at the school gates together with all the ladies she works for, and she has to find her own way in this middle class world while dealing with everything else that’s going on in her life.
I completely understand why Kerry Fisher’s novel was picked up by Avon and re-released: what a great read! I’ve read several novels about school gate politics over the years, but I have to say this is definitely my favourite so far. I instantly really liked the main protagonist, Maia, and I was rooting for her until the very last page. Maia is willing to do anything to make her children’s lives better, but her boyfriend Colin and their money situation doesn’t make it easy for her. When she inherits money for the kids to go to private school, she knows she has to take this opportunity but it’s the start of a whole new set of problems. I loved seeing Maia deal with the other middle class mothers and everything that is thrown her way; I really admired her strength. There are also some fascinating secondary characters, such as eccentric Clover, a middle class mum Maia becomes friends with, and charming teacher Mr. Peters, whom Maia often bumps into.
The plotline of the novel is really engaging and consists of a good mix of both light-hearted aspects and more serious topics such as class inequality. There were several twists and turns which kept me entertained and resulted in me finishing the book in just two sittings. Kerry Fisher has a really comfortable and well-paced writing style which only made the reading experience even more enjoyable. ‘The School Gate Survival Guide’ is an engaging, entertaining, well-written and funny read; I loved it!