Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

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Release Date: February 4, 2020

Isobel Johnson teaches English at a public school in Liston, Minnesota. The majority of her students are from privileged homes with highly involved parents. The environment is competitive and focused on grades, auditions for plays, and applications to the top colleges. Isobel is liked by her students but becomes concerned when she receives an anonymous voicemail blasting her lectures as Anti-American and focused outside the curriculum. To make matters worse, social media is active within the Liston community spreading negative parent discussions regarding the faculty. 

Julia Abbott’s main focus in her life is pushing her kids’ achievements. She is an active parent in her community with a heavy social calendar. Her volunteer efforts align with her kids’ activities and she uses this influence on teachers by donating money to secure better theater roles for her children. This lifestyle vanishes after an incident at school involving Julia and a student is recorded leaving her reputation in ruin. 

This story examines parental interference and how it can have positive and negative consequences for children.  I enjoyed the varying perspectives from Julia and Isobel’s and how they blend as the story progresses. Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes is a debut novel by Kathleen West.

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