Desert Isle Keeper
I’m still happily working through my TBR pile and have across another winner! Tiny Imperfections is a delight of a book set in the cut-throat world of West Coast kindergarten admissions! Who knew?? In the quiet Midwest kids pretty much just go to the local school. But in San Francisco, where you go to kindergarten can apparently make or break you!
Thirty-nine year old Josie Bordelon is the Director of Admissions at the Fairchild Country Day School – a kindergarten through 12th grade elite school in San Francisco (for our non-US readers – 12th grade is the last grade before university). School. Admissions season at Fairchild has just started and already Josie is inundated with anxious parents of would-be attendees. She and her trusty assistant Roan will review over 500 applications, meet with the parents, and observe the children during a visit day. Her favorite would-be parent is Ty Golden – a “six-foot-four Adonis” who, sadly for Josie, is married to another would-be parent, Daniel. Not only is Ty easy-on-the-eyes, he’s also an extremely kind cardiologist who happens to be her Aunt Viv’s doctor.
Aunt Viv has raised Josie since she was four and her mother (an aspiring dancer/probably stripper) left her on Viv’s doorstep. Aunt Viv has been the cafeteria cook at Fairchild forever and was able to get Josie into school there –
“The school got a killer face to rest their diversity laurels on, and I got a first-class education and entree into the world Aunt Viv wanted for me.”
After graduating from Fairchild, Josie headed off to New York University, derailed her academic career for high-paying modeling jobs, lived a little bit of the high life, got pregnant, and returned to Aunt Viv. Ever since, Josie, her daughter Etta, and Aunt Viv, three sassy generations of Bordelon women, have made a home together in San Francisco. And now Etta is graduating from Fairchild and Josie is struggling to help her daughter forge a path to college.
What makes Tiny Imperfections so perfect are three things – the relationship between the Bordelon women, the engaging storyline, and the way the book pokes fun at the insanity that is the crazy, self-absorbed world of San Francisco elitism.
Lola and I stick to Absinthe, the oldest establishment in Hayes, because their happy hour champagne is the cheapest in the neighborhood and they will split a burger at no extra cost. We could give two shits if the lettuce and tomato on our bun has been locally sourced and the cow read Dostoyevsky out in the pasture.
Aunt Viv and Josie are great to spend time with – they have terrific banter and it’s obvious their affection for one another runs deep. Josie’s struggle with letting Etta choose her own future is relatable for any parent of a teen and the craziness of the admissions season provides a wonderful framework for the story and endless opportunities for a good laugh. And then there’s Ty Golden – what happens when Josie finds herself in lust with an off-limit parent?
My only quibble with the book is that Josie’s gay assistant Roan is portrayed in such a stereotypical way that it started to grate on me.
Tiny Imperfections is a book that, quite simply, charmed me. I love a book that tackles everyday issues with a large dollop of humor. I promise, if you give this a try, you will be giggling again and again.