A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity
By Kathleen Gilles Seidel
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312333263, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 21, 2006
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"Her daughter enjoyed a most uncommon degree of popularity." -Emma, Jane Austen Your own daughter. . . one of the popular girls?
On the first day of middle school, Lydia Meadows, a former lawyer turned full-time mother, is startled to discover that her daughter Erin is one of the popular girls, a tight foursome whose mothers are also great friends. Lydia has always thought of popular girls as ambitious little manipulators who enjoy being cruel. But Erin is kind and well-adjusted. Maybe this popularity thing won't be so bad after all.
Then a new student ruthlessly targets Erin to boost her own popularity, and Lydia helplessly wonders what to do when her daughter's phone stops ringing. And the uneasiness among the girls begins to affect the friendship of the mothers--even though they are all grown women who should know better. Has their driven energy, once directed toward their careers, turned into an obsession with the social lives of their daughters?
A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity is a delightful novel of manners, an unabashed chronicle of the rules, rituals, and pitfalls of raising a daughter.
Kathleen Gilles Seidel has a Ph.D. in English literature from Johns Hopkins and lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters.