Jen Dixon isn’t your typical kindergarten-class mom. She already has two daughters in college from her days wandering the globe as a music groupie and a son who is entering his first year of kindergarten with her (relatively) new husband. Despite her protests, Jen’s best friend talks her into being a class mom for her son’s class — and hijinks ensue.
In her attempts to inject a bit of humor and personality into the class parent’s emails, Jen opens herself up to all types of criticism and judgment from her fellow parents. Never mind that she’s trying to get the job done and figure out the quirks of her son’s teacher (for example, she doesn’t believe in “Hallmark holiday” parties, making planning for said events problematic). She also can’t help that one set of parents uses a parental cocktail party to have a friend pedal her jewelry — and the assumption this was Jen’s idea.
Laurie Gelman’s Class Mom is equal parts hilarious and eye-opening. Seeing Jen navigate the class parent waters is entertaining — even if some of the situations she finds herself in are seemingly over the top. Gelman’s performance of her book is spot and helps you feel for Jen and her self-created issues, including the innocent flirting with her former high school crush that slowly gets out of hand and threatens her marriage.
Jen feels entirely authentic, even as some events spiral out of control. The delight she and other class parents find in trying to delve into their children’s teacher is one of the highlights of the novel.