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A Most Uncommon Degree Of Popularity (2007)

A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity (2007)

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3.29 of 5 Votes: 5
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0312333277 (ISBN13: 9780312333270)
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About book A Most Uncommon Degree Of Popularity (2007)

I surprised myself by picking this up at the library but I have read a real variety of books this year. I guess an odd sort of high school politics chick lit novel from the perspective of the mum (should I say mom?) just gives me another odd genre to include in my wide selection, although I'm not sure what genre I WOULD call it, actually.I surprised myself again by getting into this. The story of a teenage girl who gets shunted out of her popular group of friends by a newcomer is an old story, but this time seen entirely from the viewpoint of the stay at home mum who is way more invested in her childrens popularity than she should be for a slightly different take on it. The dad is often absent and it's interesting here how the focus is really on female friendships - her daughter with her three best friends and the mother with her three best friends who happen to be the mothers of her daughters friends. Sure, it's a little TOO neat there but the author actually deals with this in a realistic way. I could see the characters motivation and she dealt lightly with some hard topics.I liked how this book sorted itself out in the end. It felt like a solution without the feeling of 'quick, let's wrap it up' I often feel about chick lit. (Is this chick lit? Someone of here has described it as 'Jane Austen of the car pool' and I rather liked that.) There were something interesting strands of sub-plots here and I surprised myself for the third time by actually enjoying it.

I loved, loved, loved this book! A friend recommended it to me, and I was hooked almost immediately! It has been a long time since I read a book in less than 24 hours - I just couldn't put it down. I am trying to figure out which part of the book I connected with the most, was it the middle school mean girls, or the mom's friendships affected by their daughters friendships, or the 'politics' of pta moms..., maybe it was all of it, which is why it was so believeable. This book could ring true in any middle school in the country - private or public. Who doesn't remember the pain of those middle school years when it comes to friends and the 'popular girls'? With the story being told by the point of view of one of the mothers, and my own kids right around that age - it is so easy to empathize and understand these parents and their actions (except Mary Paige and her daughter Faith). I also liked that the author brought into question the relationship between working moms and stay-at-home moms : are we all on the same team or not? The narrator is also struggling a bit with her identity - she chooses to stay home, but what or who is she without her career as a lawyer, and how does she achieve balance in her life? I loved it - I've felt those same feelings as a stay-at-home mom (how she feels when at her husband's business party someone asks her "what do you do?"). Anyway, it's a quick, entertaining read, and I'd recommend it to anyone!

Do You like book A Most Uncommon Degree Of Popularity (2007)?

I read this book on pure whim - plucked it off a shelf in the library. For a light, airy read, it was good. Tells the story of the trials of "tween"-ism through the eyes of the mom. Makes you realize you may not have gotten away with as much as you think you did. I think most of the reason I enjoyed this book was it's location - DC and vicinity. Seidel details many popular locations and it's fun for a local to follow the journey through the city and nod knowingly everytime she makes an accurate assessment of DC life. The story has a good base but loses a bit in the complicated rise to the climax. When Seidel mentions in her acknowledgements that she repeatedly went back to the story, the choppy nature becomes a bit more understood. I can not tell if it is a statement about the life path of motherhood or simply distracted storytelling.If you're just looking for something to kick back with and not think too hard - this is your book.

Hadn't heard of this book therefore no expectations, just found it on the new books in at the library. Surprisingly I was so impressed with Seidel's fictional story which read as a sociological study of girls and mothers. Sure there were stereotypes, but that was so affirming in recognizing how to "cope" with similar personalities and situations as the mother of a girl. Seidel's descriptions observations were stinging, humorous and poignant in a non-sappy way. I will recommend this book to friends.
—Laura Thompson

When I was half-way through this novel, I loved it. By the end, I was kind of disappointed and a little bewildered. This is a story about a mother, Lydia, who has to learn to maintain relationships with her friends when said friend's children begin to mistreat her daughter at school. I was intrigued by this dynamic - mostly the reality that somehow, all women, at heart, still want to be "popular", no matter what their age. The mothers in the story become too wrapped up in their daughter's social status, something I have experienced all too vividly in my own life :) This dilemna, in my opinion, was the real strength and heart of the novel.Unfortunately, about 3/4 of the way through the book, the author dropped this storyline almost completely and instead focused on new issues that appeared to come out of left field to me. Where did my interesting novel go?In the end, it feels as though neither storyline is really resolved and I was left wanting more. One other problem for me was the very honest, and yet often harsh, descriptions of the secondary characters' personality flaws and the almost detached assessment of marriage. I couldn't tell if the author was letting off steam about her own life, or what.In the end, I would probably pick up another book by this author, and cross my fingers for a more focused storyline.

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