The Drop-Off by Fiona Harris and Mike McLeish

‘Hey buddy, so maybe I should start at the beginning like most good stories do …’

Meet Lizzie, Megan, and Sam. Parents of children at Melbourne’s Baytree Primary School, they have become friends over school drop-off. Lizzie, a part-time midwife with four children, has an awkward secret. Sam, a chef, is now a stay-at-home dad whose wife spends a lot of time travelling because of her job. And Megan is a single mum with a thriving but demanding online business. Busy people, who have bonded over coffee and chat at school drop-off.

Chat at school drop-off was never part of my experience: there was never time. Child delivered: commute to work, full time job, shift working partner, no time to park and chat. I am envious, and I am still on the first page. So, what did these parents get up to?

Three parents, three quite different life situations, three different points of view. Lizzie, Megan, and Sam were like many of the other parents:

‘As school communities went, Baytree Primary parents were lazy and useless.’

Until a tragedy led them to become more involved in the school.

I enjoyed this novel, accompanying each of the characters as they dealt with changes and crises. They became unlikely saviours of a school event while supporting each other through personal issues. I may not have been part of the drop-off clique, but I recognise the challenges of being involved in the school community and of juggling commitments.

This novel was developed from a web-based comedy series (which I have not seen). I enjoyed the humour, found myself nodding in agreement with some of the issues faced and was delighted by the ending. Parenting is a tough gig, but everything is much easier with friends and good humour.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith