I had a consult in Manhattan with a lovely family who is moving to the Slope so I finally had a chance to crack open Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn for a few quick stops on the F train. I howled through the first chapter, got off the train to talk about nursery programs and when I got back on the F the first thing I read was an abridged list of the schools that I had just recommended. Of course it wasn't accompanied by the well researched data and keen insight that I provide, but if I had been drinking milk at the time, it would have come out my nose. I am going to institute a new rating system. So far Prospect Park West gets 4 out of 4 individual serving organic, antibiotic free milk boxes.
The thing is that it has tons of realistic details as well as exaggerated characters. It is like having a famous author in the family. You were at the dysfunctional Christmas reunion. You know the people and what happened. You can gleefully enjoy the embellishments safe in the knowledge that as the boring third cousin, you won't be mentioned. We all know what we love about the neighborhood. We don't need to see that in print. It would be boring. Comedy is cruel and this is comedy set in a very familiar locale.
I have one request. I would like Simon & Schuster to come out with an indexed addition, "people and places that Joyce knows". Otherwise I am going to have to go through it with a highlighter.
There are still a few days left to submit entries for the "Win the Book Contest". Email me firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your child's current school, one thing you love and one challenge that the school faces. If your child is not in school yet, tell me what grade level you most fear and why. I will be picking an entry at random on Friday, Sept. 18 at 4pm.