Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes (Hardcover)
Available (may be delayed)
Perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions, a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High—the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle—and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.
When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds with each other find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin.
Isobel Johnson has spent her career in Liston Heights sidestepping the community’s high-powered families. But when she receives a threatening voicemail accusing her of Anti-Americanism and a liberal agenda, she’s in the spotlight. Meanwhile, Julia Abbott, obsessed with the casting of the school’s winter musical, makes an error in judgment that has far-reaching consequences for her entire family.
Brought together by the sting of public humiliation, Isobel and Julia learn firsthand how entitlement and competition can go too far, thanks to a secret Facebook page created as an outlet for parent grievances. The Liston Heights High student body will need more than a strong sense of school spirit to move past these campus dramas in an engrossing debut novel that addresses parents behaving badly and teenagers speaking up, even against their own families.
About the Author
Kathleen West is a veteran middle and high-school teacher. She graduated with a degree in English from Macalester College and holds a Master's degree in literacy education from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her hilarious husband, two sporty sons, and very bad goldendoodle.
“A smart and delightful story of entitlement, friendship, and overparenting, with page-turning twists galore. West writes across lines of class and generation with grace and ease. A big-hearted debut."—Bruce Holsinger, author of The Gifted School
“As intriguing as it is timely. West provides a funny and shocking glimpse into American parenting through the lens of an out-of-control stage mother who has lost all sense of boundaries.”—Amy Poeppel, author of Limelight
"Helicopter parenting and high school politics at their worst—and funniest. A smart, fast-paced, and deliciously entertaining debut!"—Meg Donohue, USA Today bestselling author of You, Me, and The Sea
"A cutting and witty examination of modern parenting that excels in suburban relatability, West's debut novel will pique the curiosity of fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette."—Booklist
"West offers a sharp, unflinching look at her characters: teachers and administrators trying to do—and keep—their jobs; busy, high-powered parents who buy the best they can for their families; helicopter mothers who see themselves as the omniscient beings who control their children's lives; and the high school students themselves, who sometimes have to learn about kindness and mentoring, bullying and inappropriate behavior by judging their parents' and teachers' actions rather than those of their peers. An excellent, nuanced exploration of the world of high school and the students and adults who live within it."—Kirkus (starred review)