Review: Tipping by Anna George

Title: Tipping

Author: Anna George

Published: 3rd March 2021, Viking

Status: Read March 2021 courtesy PenguinRandomHouse


My Thoughts:

When her fourteen year old son, Jai, is suspended for his part in creating a ‘hot or not’ Insta-story it proves to be a tipping point for both Liv Winsome, and the exclusive grammar school her sons attend.

“Twenty five years ago she was a high-achieving student, and today she was a high achieving mother (and wife). A super-doer. Or so she’d thought.”

Liv, a legal investigator, mother to twins, Jai and Oscar, and nine-year-old Cody, and wife to Duncan whom she describes as a “A pleasant, human stocking filler.”, is stressed and tired of being all things to all people. To the horror of her family, Liv decides to divide the overwhelming physical and emotional burden she carries amongst them. It’s a rare mother who has not dreamed of doing the same, I laughed out loud in recognition when Liv’s family presented their lists of responsibilities, which amounted to a fraction of her own nine and a half pages.

Liv has good intentions – to stop her hair falling out by the handful, to teach her sons responsibility, to encourage her husband to develop his emotional range, to make just a few tweaks to ensure a better life for them all. And she’s not going to stop there, she’s determined to hold her sons conservative school to account for what she considers are their subtle, and not so subtle, misogynistic practices. Liv is excited as real change begins to happen, but things soon begin to go awry on the home front, particularly when Duncan has his own epiphany on work/life balance, and Carmichael Grammar is none too receptive to the idea of permanently disrupting the status quo either.

George’s characters are well-drawn, realistic and relatable. Liv is pretty intense, but there are aspects of her character, and her family’s dynamic I found familiar. So too with Jess Charters, whose 14 year old daughter’s sexy selfie was one of those shared, though she is quite a different character from Liv. I didn’t particularly care for Duncan, but I thought his perspective was a valuable addition to the story. Children and teens are notoriously difficult to portray authentically but I thought George did it well.

Elements of the story related to institutional gender bias/ sexual harassment are very timely given current events in Australia (this week was the #March4Justice). George explores a wide range of responses to the issues raised among both sexes, and several age groups. I found the focus on calling out the subtle signs of sexism throughout the school’s physical environment particularly thought-provoking, as it happens parent/teacher night is next week and I’ll be looking at my children’s school with a new perspective.

The story moves at a good pace, but I do think Tipping was a little long, with a few minor threads and characters that didn’t add anything of substance to the narrative.

A story of family, change, activism and the search for equilibrium, Tipping is witty and fun, but it is also a thought-provoking, and even inspiring novel. I also believe it would provide excellent material for a book group discussion, especially one with a mixed membership.


Available from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Izabel Brekilien
    Mar 17, 2021 @ 21:42:45

    I think I can relate to that situation too ! Thanks for sharing, I’ll be reading this book with much interest 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  2. sherry fundin (@sherryfundin)
    Mar 18, 2021 @ 02:11:00

    great review. thanks for sharing
    sherry @ fundinmental

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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