I received a free copy of this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a fair review.
The novel is about Mia and her daughter Pearl, who recently relocated to Shaker Heights and are renting an apartment from an established family in the town. Established historically, socially and financially, that is. Emotionally, perhaps not so much. Events occur in the town surrounding a custody battle in which Mia finds herself on the opposite side of the battle lines from her landlord, Mrs. Richardson. The fallout exposes secrets and destroys relationships.
I am very much in the minority from what I have seen, but I didn’t care for this. The deck is so stacked in Mia’s favour by the author, it pushes the reader into a passive position. We are obviously supposed to see Mia as the heroine, as the good mother, as the fighter of injustice, etc. We are also supposed to poke fun at middle and working class values, at a desire for security, and achievement. We are supposed to worship at the altar of the biological mother over all others. Ironically, or not, the biological father gets no such altar. Having lived and worked in the real world for a long time, including much of it with children, this just didn’t work for me.