Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West (Review by Ali Cicerchi)

1 min read


Boy, do I feel bad for teachers and parents just trying to get it right. And the students trying to please themselves, their parents AND their teachers. In “Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes,” Kathleen West paints an all-too realistic picture of what it’s like to be a high school teacher in a world that allows parents numerous ways to reach you or talk about you. It also follows a helicopter mom as she contributes to her own demise as the Queen Bee parent.

This novel follows several characters at Liston Heights High, a privileged high school. Isobel Johnson is that English teacher that challenges students and works tirelessly to expand her students’ minds and Julia Abbott, mom of two teenagers at Liston Heights, obsesses over every move her children make. Is Andrew going to get that part in the play? Is Tracy becoming radicalized by her English teacher? Both women are high strung, albeit in different ways. One fateful day in the high school hallway is a catalyst for many humiliations and a lot of hilarious suffering for all.

Minor Dramas was a fun read! I found myself telling quite a few people about this book as I was reading – the mark of a truly relatable book. I found myself wincing and bracing myself for the character’s mishaps. But I also laughed out loud and maybe even teared up a bit. The characters felt so real. An entertaining read, a perfect distraction!

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