Note I read this book when it was originally released as The Class Ceiling in 2013. Since then it has been re-released, first as The School Gate Survival Guide and is now called The Not So Perfect Mum.

This book is a fun, easy read about school gate politics and life as a parent. The protagonist Maia lives in a less-than-desirable place, with a less-than-desirable partner, doing less-than-desrable work – but one day she finds herself in a position where her children are given a scholarship to the local public school. Obviously, she feels that she stands out like a sore thumb and seems to instantly make enemies of some of the snobbier mums.

This part of the story is an extreme version of something we can all relate to – that feeling of being an impostor at the school gate. We can all sometimes feel like one of the parents at the school gate looks down upon us or sniffs at our children’s breakfast-smudged faces. Maia does meet a nice fellow mum who becomes a good friend though, and muddles on through whilst developing a bit of a crush on one of the teachers at the posh school. This book highlights the distaste the English middle class often seem to feel for those occupying the lower rungs of the social ladder. Some of the characters are so gloriously bitchy, they awoke my inverse snobbery and I found myself outraged on Maia’s behalf!

There was something about this book that just kept me reading. It’s a very easy read, but far from your standard “chick lit” book. I felt there was something of an intelligent undertone (if such a thing exists). The storyline was far from predictable and ther ewas a twist towards the end that I definitely did not see coming.

I don’t read a lot of fiction, but I found this book well written, brilliantly thought out and expertly assembled.

Thanks for reading. You can read my other book reviews here.

NB: This post contain affiliate links. If you click a link and go on to make a purchase, I may be compensated. This does not affect the price you pay. Clicking on affiliate links is a good way to support your favourite bloggers!

Categories: Books


Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.


MamaMummyMum · 30/06/2014 at 13:52

Love a good twist. I think most parents could probably relate to subjects touched in this book. I know I feel looked down upon sometimes as I have tatoos and piercing and I look younger than my age so when walking around with 4 kids I get some looks!! thanks for linking up with #ReadWithMe I have tweeted and pinned this post x

purplemulberries · 30/06/2014 at 17:46

As a school gate mom to be this might be something I should read…although our school isn't (thankfully) snobby at all. Emma

ilovemummymost · 30/06/2014 at 18:34

This looks like a great book. One for my read if I ever get the chance again list :-) there are so many rubbishy chick lit books out there it's great to have discovered a well written one :-)#readwithme.x

Emma | My Book Corner · 18/08/2014 at 09:31

Now this looks interesting!! Thanks for the review #readwithme

Natasha Mairs · 18/08/2014 at 12:50

love at good twist that you don't expect

Catherine · 18/08/2014 at 16:16

Thanks for recommending this book, it sounds a great read :) Have added it to my wishlist.

AliceMegan · 19/08/2014 at 12:23

Working in schools I see the snobbery from a different perspective and it&#39;s definitely rife everywhere even in schools occupied by the so called &#39;lower class&#39;<br /><br /><a href="; rel="nofollow">AliceMegan</a><br />

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