Monday, September 2, 2013

Early Decision by Lacy Crawford

Anne is the 'application whisperer'.  Her specialty is shepherding high school senior through the college application process and there are plenty of parents willing to pay handsomely to make sure their child gets into one of the Ivy League schools.  These are the helicopter parents, who have been overseeing their child's extracurricular activities and schoolwork for over a decade with the singular goal of making sure their application will be ones of those accepted at the school of their choice.

This year's crop of seniors is no different.  There is Sadie, whose whole life has revolved around service to others, a goal her parents have pushed aggressively.  The family spends weekends and vacations serving others around the globe, although the parents can't quite seem to work actually spending time with Sadie one on one into their schedules.  There is Alexis, the rare child who is so stellar that she could get in anywhere, but her anxious parents just can't believe she can make it without professional grooming.  Hunter is a nice boy, not a straight A student but one rung down, whose dreams vary from what his parents regard as acceptable.   William wants to study drama, but his parents insist on a profession that is safer and more likely to lead to financial success.  Cristina is the one who makes it all worthwhile, a Hispanic student who would have no chance at college despite her amazing mind and grades, without the help of someone like Anne to find the financial resources she will need.

While arranging the lives of others, Anne lets her own life stay on hold.  She left graduate school, not sure where she was headed and why she was there.  Her boyfriend, older by more than a decade, has commitment issues and the relationship seems stalled.  How can Anne know what to do for everyone else and be so unsure of her own way?

Lacy Crawford has written a novel that will strike fear into the hearts of every parent.  Once parents are sure their children are healthy and doing well, the drums start beating about getting into college so that they can be successful in life.  Everyone I know is caught up in this game to varying degrees, and willing to make sacrifices to increase the odds of getting into a 'good' college.  It is believable that parents so invested in their children's lives would hire someone like Anne to make sure that their children are launched successfully.  Whether this is a path one should pursue or whether children should be left to their devices is one of the questions this novel raises.  This book is recommended for parents facing this dilemma as well as those interested in modern life for families.

3 comments: said...

Love that phrase, "helicopter parents." I've seen it from afar and what a strange, new world. Like the idea of a closer look.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

"Lacy Crawford has written a novel that will strike fear into the hearts of every parent." I'm personally dreading those college application days, and my son is only in 6th grade now!

Thanks for being on the tour.

DoingDewey said...

Interesting - I felt like the message of this book was really that parents need not be afraid. Personally, I thought if the parents just stopped worrying so much and acknowledged that their students didn't have to go to big name schools to do well in life, they'd have been much better off :)