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Publisher's Summary

A laugh-out-loud debut novel for anyone who’s tried to live the perfect life - and learned the hard way there’s no such thing.

Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look. 

Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…

To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery - right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as - and even wackier than - she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?

©2019 Julie Valerie (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Kathleen McInerney's dynamic narration will have listeners either laughing out loud or cringing as she skillfully captures the absurdity and craziness of this dark comedic debut." --AudioFile magazine

"There are many novels about women struggling to fit into upper-class communities, but debut author Valerie manages to create a story that feels fresh, with sparkling dialogue.... A unique and over-the-top look at modern motherhood, full of funny and cringeworthy moments." --Kirkus Reviews

"Valerie's witty, rollicking novel is an ode to modern motherhood.... A charmingly cautionary tale of the pursuit for domestic perfection." --Booklist

What listeners say about Holly Banks Full of Angst

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

The best word for this book is exhausting.

Although if I were to write like the author I would have to say, 'so exhausting, like a tired of reading endless sentences of descriptive terms about nonsense side conversations that didn't add to the story and made my eyes cross like a tic-tac-tick-tock all around the topiary bush, now where was I? Capital E exhausted'. What may have been a cute mystery, love story, adventure, comedy, tribute to mother/daughterhood or marriage was dragged down with so many extra words that it was too much of a struggle to enjoy. The bad became good in the snap of a finger or turn of a page, but not before the bad was described in technicolor detail and the good in pick your ending story book 'turn to page 41' style. I was left with wondering about film festivals, UPS or cable guys, new teachers, pregnant cats, and second weeks of school. That's after an entire book! Just please, don't tell the rest of the story. It's hip hip hand over my heart fine.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unworthy of publication !

Can't turn another page ! Would not recommend this book,. I hate being negative towards any creative effort but this author needs honest feedback .

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Light-hearted and Funny

At one time or another we have all wanted to be the perfect mom or wife. Holly learned just how unrealistic they is. This book was funny and light hearted with some real issues. I loved it and would recommend it.

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Not my thing

This is a fantasy packaged as realistic fiction, so the characters are not believable, the story itself is improbable (at best), and, for me at least, the whole thing is tough to take. I might enjoy this if it were repackaged as a cartoon series made in a deliberately campy style. Otherwise, it was a struggle for me (pun absolutely intended)!

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Aweful

I stuck it out to the end and was sorry I did. The plot was inane. The characters cartoonish. Don't waste your time.

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So good!!!

Welcome the the struggle of moms with school age kids competing to be better than the next mom! So good, so true and so well performed by the narrator. Can’t wait for the sequel in November 2020!

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  • KM
  • 03-02-20

Can't do it...

If you can get past that 4th chapter, good for you. I can't do it. Terrible.

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A colossal waste of time.

I can't believe that any sane publisher would approve this ridiculous mishmash of drivel worthy to be inflicted on the literary scene. It's about a woman moving into a small town and the trials and tribulations she goes to involving putting her five year old into school. There's no story here, no humor, just a bunch of vaguely connected thoughts with lots of references to so much disconnected crap it's difficult to maintain a plot, which of course there is none. Read or listen to it at your peril hyphen hyphen hyphen exclamation point.

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For Laughing Outloud


Holly, Ella and Jack have moved to the Village of Primm, a prim and proper locale, due to Jack's work. Holly, a graduate of film school enacts her life as a script. Holly loves being a mom and having a family but obviously something is missing in her life. Holly is adamant about being a good mom which she perceives as fitting in with the other moms at Primm Academy where Ella is in Kindergarten. The first day of school starts out as a total disaster. It's one of those days where if Holly hadn't hit the school bus, she wouldn't have rented a car ... Follow Holly as she finds herself in precarious situations. Will her life in Primm ever be normal or at least as normal as a mother's life can be? A fun Audible that is packed full of laughs.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tarin
  • 12-19-19

not funny

I did finish this book but it just wasn't for me. I was always left wanting more for evert every situation. And I didnt fine it that funny and that's why I selected this book.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mari
  • 02-06-20

Not for me.

Unfortunately this book was not for me. What was supposed to be funny, to me was simply irritating. Narration was good.