Book Review: The Rise and Fall of a Domestic Diva by Sarah May

The Rise and Fall of a Domestic Diva by Sarah May

Rating: 4/5
I got this book: from the library
I read this in: Dutch (The Prendergast Road Kronieken), the original language is English
Number of pages: 304
First published: 2009
Genre: contemporary fiction, chick-lit


This book looks like a chick-lit pur-sang when you see the English cover. I read the Dutch translation and the cover was much more serious (see below). The book is mostly about Kate and Robert Hunter (no. 22), although single mother Jessica, a widow (no. 283), plays a large part as well.

Three other families on Prendergast Road are highlighted. Besides that they form the Prendergast Road Committee, they share a lifestyle and aspirations. Their most immediate concern is to get their children into the most prestigious primary school in the neighbourhood. Most of them are willing to go to great lengths in order to secure a place for their son or daughter.

Kate Hunter has a crazy life. She’s got a part-time job, a mother-in-law who is temporarily living with them, a 6-month old baby girl that she forgets quite often to bring along with her and a son (almost of primary school age) who needs ferrying about. Her husband Robert is having problems at the school were he is a teacher.

Most of the men in Prendergast Road are more interested in Jessica, the single mum, than in their own wives. None of them seem to have a good marriage and they are all portrayed as a bit silly and not quite part of the household.

At a street party (organised by the Committee) a number of crises come to a head, involving mainly the Hunter family and Jessica and her children.

De Prendergast Road Krinieken by Sarah May

The book was fun to read although the circumstances were vastly overdone. Would a mother really forget her baby daughter three times on a day (her 5-year old son feels he’s responsible for making sure his mother doesn’t forget to take his sister along when they are going somewhere, or when they are going home)? The mother-in-law, who possibly has the first stage of Alzheimer, is way too dominant in her son’s household and I can’t imagine this would ever really happen.

But sometimes it’s fun to read about other people’s struggles, especially when they are recognisable. I think anyone who was thinking about having children but wasn’t quite sure would not want children after reading this book!

The book’s story lines weren’t very balanced out, I thought, but it still was a fun read that took me about 2 days to read.

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About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

7 Responses to Book Review: The Rise and Fall of a Domestic Diva by Sarah May

  1. I think I have heard about this book before, but as you say, the cover suggests chicklit, and that’s not really my cup of tea. But your review makes me (again) want to read this book (:

    • Leeswammes says:

      It’s a fun book, Nadine, especially if you have children yourself (if not, you would not want them). I also liked the setting, London, where there are so many ambitious families trying to get the best for their children.

  2. Sometimes it’s just enough that a book is fun to read, believable storyline(s) or not. I love this review!

    P.S. I see on your sidebar that you’re reading “The End of Alice” – what a totally creepy, rather disturbing story. I found myself having to put it down for a while now and then, and it is definitely NOT for the squeamish. My middle daughter read it after I did and told me that she was glad I warned her about it, but told her it was worth reading anyway, otherwise, she might have put it down at a certain point and not finished reading it because it made her feel “all dark and dingy inside”, as she put it.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Julie, you’re right, *The End of Alice* is disturbing and shocking. I wasn’t sure whether to finish it either, but I’m glad I did. Not sure how old your daughter is but I wouldn’t give this to anyone under 18 I think.

  3. booksnyc says:

    thanks for highlighting this book! I love books set in London so I am putting this on my TBR!

  4. Pingback: Eerste Hoofdstukken – 19. De Burwood baby’s van Sarah May | De Boekblogger

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