Author: Kathleen West
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Among fake Instagram pages, long-buried family secrets, and the horrors of middle school, one suburban mom searches to find herself in a heartfelt and thought-provoking novel from the author of Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes.
Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.
When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice’s social standing is quickly eroded to one of “those moms” who can’t control her kids. Soon she’s facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn’t made of glass).
Then her mother unloads a family secret she’s kept for more than thirty years, and Alice’s entire perception of herself is shattered.
As Alice’s son’s new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother’s choices, Alice realizes that she’s been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else’s standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she’ll have to figure out who to turn to for help and decide who she really wants to be.
Are We There Yet by Kathleen West is a drama filled novel about middle schoolers and their mothers. West pulled me into the story right away and I didn’t want to put the book down. The story is told from multiple perspectives of teenagers and their parents. Three women are best friends until their teenagers start misbehaving and their kids are on opposite sides of an issue. Social media plays a big part of the book, and the children say things they wouldn’t say to someone in person. Social media is turned into a way to share secrets with fake Instagram accounts their parents don’t know about. The parents think they know what is going on by checking their kid’s phones. It was interesting to see how the teenagers interacted and reacted to certain events. Then, the parents reacted very differently. There was a mix of strict parents to more relaxed parents. None of the parents will admit their child is at fault which causes a rift in their friendship. I read as a buddy read and enjoyed our discussion and sharing opinions. I was told from parents of middle schoolers how realistic events in the book were. I recommend Are We There Yet for anyone looking for a drama filled novel about women, teenagers, and parenting.
Thank you Berkley Publishing and Edelweiss for Are We There Yet.
About the Author
Kathleen West is a veteran school teacher. She graduated with a degree in English from Macalester College and holds a master’s degree in literacy education from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her A+ human family and two B- dogs.