BOOK REVIEW: Up and In by Deborah Disney

A wonderfully wry tale about the pressure women put on themselves and one another to fit in, measure up and look glamorous while they're doing it. 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 finds herself thrust into a high society of champagne -swilling mother-istas she hasn't budgeted for. Saturday morning netball is no longer a fun mother-daughter outing but a minefield of social politics. While the increasingly neurotic Maria struggles to negotiate the school mum hierarchy, Joe quietly battles a mid-life crisis and Kate attempts to grow up as gracefully as possible (without having her life ruined by embarrassing parents). For every woman who has ever felt she might be wearing the wrong shoes, this is a book that will remind you- you're not alone. 

Publisher: Harper Collins

Up and In by Deborah Disney is such an enjoyable read. Maria inadvertently upsets Bea, the Queen Bee of the mothers at her daughter's exclusive school. Maria does everything she can to fit in so that she can be part of this exclusive clique but Bea really does not make it easy for her. Maria's desperation to be included leads her to do things she would never have dreamed of, is it all worth it or has she lost sight of who she is?
I very much enjoyed Deborah Disney's writing style  and she has explored a situation that nearly every mother will identify with. The desire to fit in and be included doesn't disappear when we leave school. Maria initially seems to be doing it for her daughter's sake but very quickly it becomes Maria's own desire to be in the elite group of Mums and to be be liked by Bea. In the main, I really liked Maria but there were times that I
wanted to shake her ad her behaviour seemed selfish. There were several moments that made me cringe and I wondered why anyone would put themselves in such awkward situations as Maria does.
Bea is a marvellous creation, she is horrible, manipulative, bitchy and a complete snob. She makes an excellent villain in the book and again, readers will definitely have come across someone like Bea in their lifetime.
Up and In is a very entertaining read with some rather serious undertones. Deborah Disney explores our desire to be liked and included and the lengths we will go to in order to make this happen.
This is the first book that I have read by Deborah Disney but she is an author I would recommend.

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