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August 23, 2019

You've Been Volunteered by @LauriemGelman ~ a Review

by MK French


Jen Dixon had previously been the class mom for her youngest child, who is now in third grade. There is a lot to juggle between those duties, her two older daughters' lives, her husband trying to curry favor with a potential business partner, and additional duties for the school. She remains irreverent and down to earth even as she tries to handle everything.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

July 2019; Henry Holt; 978-1250301857
audio, ebook, print (288 pages); humor
You've Been Volunteered is a sequel to Laurie Gelman's first novel Class Mom, which I hadn't read. I don't feel as though I was missing anything by not reading that one, however. Jen dove right in, and there was enough background given into the people she talked to and about in the book. Her best friend and former PTA President had moved away, and the new one wants to be kept tighter in the loop. She also isn't as laid back and ropes Jen to being in charge of the safety patrol as well. As the somewhat stereotypical middle class stay at home mom, Jen has exercise class, calls with her daughters, calls with her parents, and often is sent on errands everywhere. Given her own wilder past, she drinks a lot at those business dinners her husband arranges to try to get investment money. Her e-mails to the class intersperse the text and are really funny to read, especially the one she composed while on spring break with her family while intoxicated.

As a cheery novel, it's funny to read about Jen's antics as she tries to communicate daughters about their romantic lives, angsts over cutting coupons to save money and decry the number of drinks she has on these business dinners. She isn't so overly self-conscious in her interactions, and she is able to handle criticism well. That saves her from appearing self-centered, which is perfect for this kind of story. Any parent roped into class participation, PTA meetings, bake sales, or safety patrol duty will definitely commiserate with Jen!

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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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