Parker, Miriam. Room and Board. Dutton, 2022. ISBN 978-1524744502 304 pp. $16.99
After her career as a NYC publicist tanks, Gillian returns to the only place that will take her in (without a background check or references, apparently): to the alma mater where she was a scholarship kid, to be a dorm mom at the exclusive Glen Ellen Academy. This seems an unlikely escape after a scandalous downfall, to be a role model for entitled girls.
The super cool privileged set finds her a warm and willing mentor, which feels a bit disjointed, and her PR chops come in handy for a talented sibling duo whose mama wants them to make it big, and she saves the day when a scandal hits the school.
On the side, a self-confessed non-reader in high school, Gillian now reads widely, especially classics, and is trying to make a name for herself on book instagram… but complains about the old books in the school’s library. (Have I mentioned I’m a librarian and sensitive to this stuff?)
One of the parents of her current charges becomes her love interest: Aiden, who owns a local winery and smells like… dirt. Gillian constantly chooses pursuing Aiden over her actual job duties. Weak character development and inconsistencies, and an over-reliance on brand name celebrity dropping made this Gossip Girls meets the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie a failure for me.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #RoomAndBoard from #NetGalley.