Are We There Yet?
Are We There Yet?
by Kathleen West
Published March 16, 2021
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Three friends – Nadia, Alice, and Meredith – connected while their children were in kindergarten. Now in seventh grade, the women have remained close though their children have drifted apart and pursued their own friend groups and interests. As troubles arise for each family, the women must decide where their priorities lie and who they can trust.
Nadia, mother to Donovan, has always been the “bad mom,” not that any of the women would tell her that. Donovan is a classic “problem child,” often in trouble with the principal, prone to learning difficulties, and in therapy. Meredith and Alice are convinced Donovan is the way he is because of Nadia’s parenting – what else could it be?
Alice is the successful working mom to Teddy and Aidy and she’s coming to grips with recognizing that though she can have it all, she can’t seem to have it all at the same time. Just as her interior design company seems to be taking off and getting national attention, Teddy starts showing signs of being a bully, Aidy’s reading levels are shown to be clearly behind, and Alice’s relationship with her mother starts to crack.
Meredith, mother to Sadie, is the perfectionist. Sadie is her golden child – a talented figure skater, a team player, highly intelligent. But when Sadie gets wrapped up in some drama with Teddy at school and subsequently makes a poor decision on social media, Meredith quickly sees her perfect life crumbling in front of her eyes while at the same time also compromising her daughter’s reputation and future.
As the mothers each push to do whatever they think is best for their children, they make plenty of their own bad decisions along the way. Dealing with current and relevant issues related to bullying and social media and parenting in general, I was totally engrossed with the drama of Elm Creek and felt that it was (terrifyingly) realistic. It really showed what a parent is willing to do for his/her child and how hard it can be to be honest with yourself about who your kids really are.
It was easy to see how the kids’ impulsive decisions spiraled out of control in the new age of social media and I often found myself thanking my lucky stars Instagram and SnapChat weren’t a thing while I was growing up. Though I was frustrated with some of the decision-making, it truly did feel authentic and I have a feeling these situations happen more often than anyone would like to think.
Funnily enough, I didn’t love any of the characters all that much and particularly disliked Teddy, Alice, and Meredith. Everyone felt impulsive, judgmental, entitled, and superior, but for me, that made me enjoy the book even more!
I loved the writing and narration style – we heard from the mothers as well as several other characters including Alice’s mom, Teddy, and Sadie. I do wish we had heard more from Nadia to balance out the voices of the three moms and because we didn’t hear from her, it felt like her character was sidelined a bit.
Some of the storyline was wrapped up a bit abruptly at the end but I did feel there was good closure to the various plotlines.
Overall, I couldn’t get enough of this book and I’m looking forward to reading more by West!!
Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a copy of this novel.