Friday, February 10, 2017

Days like these by Sue Margolis

4 Star

Recently widowed, Judy Schofield jumps at the chance to look after her two grandchildren for six weeks, while their parents are out of the country. After all, she’s already raised one set of children—and quite successfully, if she may say so herself. But all it takes is a few days of private school functions, helicopter parents, video games, and never-ending Frozen sing-a-longs for Judy to feel she’s in over her head.

As weeks become months, Judy feels more and more like an outsider among all the young mothers with their parenting theories du jour, especially when she gets on the wrong side of the school’s snooty alpha mom. But finding a friend in another grandmother—and a man who takes her mind off all the stress—almost make it worthwhile. She just needs to take it one food allergy, one incomprehensible homework assignment, and one major meltdown at a time...

Kathryn - 4 Star

A novel by Sue Margolis rarely fails to make it into my heart. I had laughed more than once and cried before I even got to page 40 in this one which says an abundance of things about the ability of the writer to bring you immediately into a new world and relate it to your own.

Margolis’ ability is in bridging multi-generational situations to make one story a reality-without seeming trite. She’s expressive and honest about the main character’s current stage of life and the language is such that you wouldn’t know what age she was until you’re told or the other characters around her put an age on her.  I suppose I’m of the generation of Judy’s daughter but I see a lot of myself in Judy as well as my own mother and many “aunties” I am lucky enough to have around me.

Judy’s grandson, Sam, is having a hard time at school and there are a few situations that crop up which develop into very serious consequences.  Judy is attempting to address his concerns as a grandparent but also as a temporary parent and she navigates the line as best she can without putting on full mama bear mode.  I actually felt her holding back her need to protect him as she had to keep a line of composure as the grandmother and not destroy her daughter’s relationships at the school.  A very fine line indeed…   

Throughout Days Like These there is the bond between Judy and her own mother that is explored tentatively – it seems that they haven’t always known each other very well.  Despite their ease and teasing of each other there was a lot explored about their bond in the story as well.  Days Like These covers every possible relationship between these four generations and I laughed and cried along with it.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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