Review: Up and In by Deborah Disney


Title: Up and In

Author: Deborah Disney

Published: HarperCollins Impulse December 2014

Status: Read from November 24 to 25, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

Up and In by Deborah Disney begins when a distracted Maria politely declines to buy two handmade hair ties while watching her daughter’s Saturday morning netball match. It’s an unintentional snub that makes her the target of icy disdain from Bea, the ‘queen’ of Maria’s social circle made up of the mother’s whose daughters attend the exclusive, and expensive, Riverton school. Maria is torn, she should be relieved that the pressure to fit in with Bea and her cohorts has eased, but instead she finds herself trying to regain her status, while obsessing over the subtext of group email exchanges. There is, after all, her daughter, Kate, to consider, who faces rejection from her own social circle led by Bea’s spoilt daughter, Mirabella.

Up and In is told in part by flashbacks that reveal the genesis of Maria and Kate’s relationship with the ‘bea’s’ from Kindy to the present day. It reveals a litany of highs and lows as well as a pattern of passive aggressive behaviour from all parties. Many of the situations have the ring of truth, albeit slightly exaggerated for dramatic and comic effect. The interactions that place between the mothers at the girls netball games, especially the upset over positioning, are unerring though.

I can relate to Maria in some ways, it is difficult to resist the desire to fit in, and Bea can be absolutely charming when she chooses to be. Negotiating the social hierarchy can also be tricky when it affects your children’s friendships, and poor Kate is caught in the crossfire between the adult power plays. Disney does a good job of exploring Maria’s inner conflict though I wish Maria had developed a bit more of a backbone.

I have to admit being disappointed somewhat by the ending, the decision Maria makes to reach out to her nemesis isn’t a magnanimous gesture – it’s a foolish one, a woman like Bea would not be grateful and Maria would swiftly find herself trapped in the same situation she has been trying to extricate herself from for the length of the novel.

An entertaining and quick read, any mother who has had to negotiate the perils of playground politics will no doubt appreciate the characters and scenarios of Up and In.

Available to Purchase from:

HarperCollins AU I Amazon AU I Amazon US I Bookworld

via booko

and all good e-tailers




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Dec 02, 2014 @ 13:32:28

    Sounds like the sort of book which would leave me relieved I don’t have kids or have to deal with that crap (Which doesn’t happen often!)



I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s