Carpool Diem is a new book by Nancy Star. Star has taken the theme of soccer moms and the actual sport of soccer and taken it to another level, creating characters that will make you laugh, because it’s all just so true. If you’ve spent any time around youth soccer, you must take a look at this book, it was written for you!
Our main character in Carpool Diem is Annie, a high powered executive who travels for work, as does her husband Tim, who is also very busy and traveling a lot for work. Their nanny Hildy takes care of their 12 year old daughter Charlotte, and Annie is starting to realize that Hildy knows far more about what Charlotte is doing and more about everything in general. It’s right around the time that this realization is setting in that Annie is fired, and turns into a stay-at-home-mom slash consultant. Once she’s home, Annie realizes even more how out of it she’s been, when she meets her “new” neighbor, a woman who has lived in the house next door for two years.
Soon Annie has taken charge of their household as only someone who has focused on reorganization can do, with her work hard/play hard credo. After a career of doing and getting only the best, Annie is trying to put that philosophy to work for her at-home life, starting with getting Charlotte onto the Power, the super-duper-A+ travel soccer team. Coach Winslow West is the coach of the Power, and his over-the-top email missives to the team are interspersed in Carpool Diem with chapters focused on Annie, Tim, and Charlotte’s storyline. Winslow’s emails are a sight to behold, filled with new rules and exclamation points!
Nancy Star has really written perfect characters for Carpool Diem. I’ve been the parent who hopes for rain to cancel soccer practice, and reading about Winslow West’s “you only leave the field if lightning has touched the ground” rule made me laugh out loud; there are plenty of other lines just as funny, too. Annie pushes herself, Tim, and Charlotte hard, wanting everyone to do their best and be “winners”. At some points in the story, readers may want to slap Annie, but we all know she has to calm down at some point. Right? Star has also gotten the fun nuances of twelve-year-old girls, too: the perfect mix of sullen, giggly, and needy.
The characters are socca-riffic, and they pull along a great storyline. I was surprised at which underdogs I started to root for – frequently it was characters I had disliked at first. The plot really sweeps you through the book, it’ll keep you from putting it down, reading it in your warm car while your kids play soccer in 28 degree weather.
If you’re an at-home mom who has ever watched the uber-successful moms, and wished they could spend a day in the trenches, Carpool Diem is a must read! If you’ve ever wanted to thwack the soccer coach who goes way overboard about team rules, parent attendance (or absence), and being a socca-starter, you shouldn’t miss Carpool Diem. Between the over-the-top characters and the storyline that always has a surprise, Carpool Diem is a book you should definitely pick up. Put it in your socca-bag!
This book was received from the publisher for review