#BookReview: Up and In by Deborah Disney

Reviewer: Samantha

I received a review copy

up and inSummary:

A laugh-out-loud debut that will delight fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins, this is The Devil Wears Prada at the school gates.

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 must learn to play nicely with Mirabella’s mother, Bea – the beguiling yet beastly queen of the toffee-nosed school mothers at Riverton.

A series of social blunders and intentional snubs make Maria determined to ensure Kate’s rightful position both at school and on the Saturday morning netball team, but as Maria works hard to negotiate the social hierarchy, her previously contented life with Joe falls far from view.

With her mastery of dialogue and character, Australian author Deborah Disney skillfully balances keen and witty observations about daily life with the more serious issues of schoolyard bullying and social isolation.

You will laugh, you will nod along, and you will want to take the increasingly neurotic Maria aside and point out that in all her desperate, gaffe-filled attempts to fit in with the well-heeled, champagne-swilling mummies of Riverton, she might just be risking all that she holds dear.


I don’t know what it is lately, but I am totally drawn to this comical mom-lit books. I am not a mom (well, I’m a puppy mom!) so I’m a little surprised at how much I am enjoying these types of reads. I’ll be honest – I got behind on my reading schedule due to an injury that kept me stuck in bed for days, and had just over 24 hours to read this book in time for my scheduled review date. But alls well that ends well, because I did not want to put this book down! Ooh, it was so juicy, well-written, funny, and relatable, even to a non-mom like me. The competition these women put themselves through – it’s like Keeping Up With the Joneses but on steroids – if they steroids were designer, of course. In the middle of it all we have a down to earth heroine in Maria who tries her hardest not to get caught up in the drama of the other beas, but when it comes to her child being left out, her protective side kicks into gear. 5 big stars from me, and I highly recommend for your 2016 reading list!

5 stars

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  1. Deborah Disney
    February 12, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    Big X for you, Samantha!!!

  2. February 14, 2016 / 10:41 am

    I hope it’s a good chick lit book. I rarely find a good one these days when I’m browsing kindle books.

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