lunedì 26 ottobre 2015

Review & Giveaway: Up and In by Deborah Disney


Up and In
by Deborah Disney

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GENRE: Women’s Fiction

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BLURB:

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 midlife 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 may be wearing the wrong shoes, this is a book that will remind you - you're not alone.

Fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins are sure to enjoy this debut offering from new Australian author, Deborah Disney.

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My Review:

It was really a pleasant read, fun, light but not trivial, very realistic. It's fresh, ironic, deals with great humor, a sensitive issue such as bullying and the result is a novel light, smooth, but interesting.
Mary lives situations of many mothers around the world: to be accepted in the group of other mothers. She and her husband Joe have decided to enroll their daughters to a private school to give them the best education. But their social status is very different from that of the other families: they belong to the middle class and can not compete with other parents, richer and popular of them. Among all shines Bea, the leader of the mothers: to be accepted from her is the only way to join the group. But it is not at all easy. It seems that Maria always do or say something wrong and goes up and down in the scale of popularity. Will she find the peace for her and her family?
The characters are really realistic, I think many mothers can easily identify with them. Maria is an intelligent woman and wants to grow her daughters in the best way possible. But often she commits acts really naive and stupid just to have the approval of the other moms.
It 's addictive and a total page turner. This was the perfect book for a quiet  afternoon read or for the summer.
If you are looking for a cute and funny book then you need to read this one.
I received an advanced reader copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.



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EXCERPT:


I first encountered the phenomenon that is Bea when Kate and Mirabella started kindergarten together. Kate was coming home every afternoon with stories about Mirabella. Her rushed delivery of the events of the day was interrupted only by peals of laughter as she enthusiastically recalled Mirabella’s crazy antics. I was so happy that Kate appeared to have made a friend so quickly and I was keen to meet this little dynamo.

One morning I decided to stay in the kindy room for a while with the other mothers, instead of doing my usual drop off with a quick cuddle at the backpack rack so that I could get Sarah home for her morning nap. As we walked into the room, Kate immediately flung away my hand – which she had been holding all the way from the car – and excitedly squealed out 'Mi-ra-bel-la' as she raced off towards a tall, blonde girl dressed in Ralph Lauren from top to toe. As I glanced around the room, I noticed that Kate’s kindy clothes signalled a mother more practical than à la mode, and that although her pre-paint-stained shorts and dark-coloured top may not cause me any stress when I picked her up covered in Play-Doh in the afternoon – or as I unloaded them from the washing machine – they were certainly causing me a lot of stress right now. Every child in the room looked ready for a game of croquet. Except Kate. All of a sudden she looked like a little street urchin. Why on earth did I agree to let her do her own hair tod
ay?

‘Okay, boys and girls, let’s all say goodbye to our mummies, and let’s put our special art smocks on so we can do some finger-painting!’ announced Miss Collins. Righto then, I guess there was no need for pre-paint-stained shorts. The next day she would be mixing it with the best in her latest outfit … the latest outfit which I planned to go and buy for her as soon as I left the kindy. Sarah’s sleep could wait.

As I was leaving, I noticed a crowd of children around Mirabella – Kate was just one of many vying for her attention. And then I noticed the tall, tanned blonde who bent down to kiss the smaller version of herself, and how she too attracted a crowd of mothers as she made her way out the door.

‘Hi there,’ I ventured a little too loudly as I tried to steal her attention. ‘I’m Maria, Kate’s mum.’

The woman looked at me quizzically. Then she looked to the group of women around her. ‘Kate? Which one is Kate?’ They looked back at her, equally puzzled. Then one announced, ‘Kate is the one who wears the runners.’

‘Ohhh,’ it dawned on them all at once. Add designer kids-size-nine shoes to this morning’s shopping list.

‘Kate just can’t stop talking about Mirabella,’ I continued. ‘I was wondering if she would like to come for a play one afternoon?’

The tall, tanned blonde had still not offered her own name. ‘Yes, perhaps,’ she replied through a forced, yet dazzling, smile. ‘Mirabella does have a lot of activities in the afternoons, though.’

Hmmm, ‘perhaps’? This was going to be harder than I thought. ‘Oh, well, Kate only has swimming which is on Wednesday afternoons, so any other afternoon would be fine with us.’

‘What a shame. That is really Mirabella’s only free afternoon.’ And that was that. If it had not been for two other women chiming ‘Bye Bea’ as they climbed into their four-wheel drives, I still wouldn’t have known her name that day.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Australian author, Deborah Disney, grew up in the regional city of Toowoomba and now lives in Brisbane with her husband and two school-aged daughters. Deborah has a BA/LLB from the University of Queensland and practised as a solicitor for a number of years prior to having children. She chose to specialise in litigation law as that seemed like the best preparation for what is now her looming battle – mothering her daughters through the teenage years. Deborah's first novel, Up and In, is a satirical look at the interactions of school and sporting mums.



Where  are you from? 

I am from Australia. I live in Brisbane, which is a capital city – in the State of Queensland, a beautiful and sunshine-filled part of the world.


What is the first book you remember reading?

Jonathon Percival Pinkerton Jr – my mum used to read it to me at bedtime all the time, and it is my first recollection of really loving a book.


Who are your favorite authors?

For enjoyment of how a plot is pulled together, and turn of phrase, I am a fan of Liane Moriarty.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I think as women we are frequently vulnerable to feeling the pressure to measure up against what other women are doing. It is such a waste of life, especially when what is being portrayed on the outside is frequently not a true representation of what’s going on behind the scenes. It was something that seemed to keep coming up over and over in conversations with friends and so I was inspired to write a book about it.

Where's your favorite place to write at home?

On something comfortable. Bed, couch … We have a nice comfy couch on the back deck and so as the weather is so nice at the moment, I have started spending a bit of time out there.

What are you working on next?


I am working on a few different writing projects at the moment, but my next novel is also about difficult female relationships.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Deborah will be awarding an eCopy of Up and In to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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