The School Gates – Nicola May

The School Gates

“At 3.10pm every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary in Denbury to collect their children.  For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows.

When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child’s father, she doesn’t expect the consequences to be quite so extreme.  Ex Czech au-pair Earth Mummy Dana finds happiness in her secret sideline, but really all she longs for is another child.  Slummy Mummy Mo’s wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Super Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow.  And what of Gay Daddy Gordon?  Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?

Four very different mothers.  One adorable dad.  And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings.”

Firstly I’d like to thank Nicola May for sending me this paperback to read and give an honest review, I enjoyed her previous books (reviews here) and with this being her latest book I was really looking forward to it.

I had a feeling that I would easily be able to relate to this story because I seem to spend half my life stood at the school gates myself!  I was right but not in the way that I had expected – there was something from each family that made me nod my head in recognition of my own life.  I also found myself comparing characters to the parents from our school and now I have to try to keep a straight face whenever I see them in the playground :).

Meeting each of the families at the beginning was enjoyable and because it had been written in a comfortable way I felt like I was part of it all too.  I have to admit that it was difficult to read about Mo’s abusive husband but it was certainly necessary to gain the full picture of the character and her surroundings.  Once the introductions had been made, the rest of the book was broken up into school terms, I really liked this because it was so real to life (my whole world revolves around school terms) and made it more familiar for me.

In my opinion the whole book really captured the essence of family life, I felt like I had been on an emotional rollercoaster ride – one minute I was smiling and laughing and the next I was feeling desperately sad.  There were twists and turns aplenty, a few of which had me gasping out loud in shock!

Something that this book highlighted for me was how people can put on a front, you never know what goes on in their personal lives or what has happened in their past, so I think it gives the message that you should never judge a book by its cover (a very appropriate message for a book blog I think :)).

The ending was completely unexpected and I’m hoping that the author is planning to take this further with another book because I really want to know what the future holds for all the characters!

This was a fun story with a serious and emotional edge, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The School Gates can be purchased from Amazon UK, Amazon US or from the Author’s Website.

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