Maia Etxeleku is a cleaner for ladies who lunch. With mops and buckets in tow, she spends her days dashing from house to house cleaning up after them, as they rush from one exhausting Pilates class to the next.
But an unusual inheritance catapults her into the very exclusive world of Stirling Hall School - a place where no child can survive without organic apricots and no woman goes a week without a manicure.
As Maia and her children, Bronte and Harley, try to settle into their new life, Maia is inadvertently drawn to the one man who can help her family fit in. But is his interest in her purely professional? And will it win her any favours at the school gate?
Kathryn - 4.5 Star
I love it when a book isn’t what you were expecting. (Or actually sometimes I don’t love that, but this time I did.) I was drawn to the cover because it was nearing the end of the summer and I was trying to get my head around making lunches and labelling clothes and all that other nonsense so I picked this one up on a whim. It turns out that although it was an easy read I was drawn in by the people and situations of the main characters much more than I was expecting.
I found myself immediately rooting for Maia, her job as a cleaner for the “lunching ladies” set and the struggles of the estate she lived in made her a character that was relatable- and useless boyfriend Colin just was the icing on the cake of her complicated and hectic life. Poor Maia sincerely hoped her windfall from a client’s passing would be a blessing but with it came so many additional problems that she struggled to balance her reality with her children’s futures. She could have lost her sense of humour but through each hurdle I grew to like her more and more. Her determination and sincerity was lovely and inspiring.
Kerry Fisher also gave us some great supporting roles though my award would have to go to Clover. Lovely, disorganised and eccentric Clover-whose genuine sympathy for Maia could be felt through the page- was also funny and brought humour to much of the novel. I also appreciated that she was given a full sub-plot of her own which meant we got to spend a lot of time with her- she made me have faith that some people are just genuinely good.
It’s a rare occurrence to find a light novel with depth explored to an extent that makes you sit back and admire a fictional character but that’s what I found in The School Gate Survival Guide.
Thank you to Harper Collins UK for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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