The Mommy Clique

Fiction - Chick Lit
256 Pages
Reviewed on 04/13/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Mommy Clique is a comedy-drama novel by Barbara Altamirano. When Beth and her husband Rick move back to her hometown in Connecticut to take care of her ailing mother, she hopes to make a few friends in the neighborhood and have some better memories than in her childhood. Little did she know that much like high school, she was entering the tiger's den all over again. Beth soon discovers that the suburb is ruled by a clique of thirty-something moms who spend their time maintaining their social hierarchy by playing ruthless games as dictated by the Queen Bee, Elise. To her horror, after attending a disastrous party, Beth learns that she had become what everyone wanted to avoid, The Target. Can she survive the relentless onslaught of the clique?

Imagine the hit Hollywood movie Mean Girls set in a modern suburban neighborhood with a group of thirty-something moms eager to torture the new arrival instead of high school teenage girls. You will probably end up with something like The Mommy Clique. Author Barbara Altamirano's hilarious yet riveting yarn about suburban social hierarchy perfectly demonstrates that no matter how old you are, the social dynamics of high school continue to influence your life unless you decide to grow up and stand up to the bullies. The characters are colorful, conniving, and conceited. But most of all, they are thoroughly entertaining to read. Altamirano's quick-witted dialogue and sarcastic humor keep you entertained all the way through, and I genuinely can't remember the last time I had so much fun reading a book. Highly recommend.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Beth knew she would have to face the demons of her past when she moved back to her hometown in Connecticut. A wallflower in high school, she escaped to Texas for college and young adulthood, but the complications of middle age call her back home to assist her ailing mother. Her intentions for the family to reconnect are good, but unfortunately, they aren't the only ones. Beth needs friends her own age and soon finds herself in the middle of an awkward initiation with the neighborhood mothers that make the sorority rush look mild. Can she survive the cruel machinations of the Queen Bee? Stand up to the Informer, the wannabe, and the sidekick? Some people never get past high school, and the neighborhood politics make office politics look like a party in Barbara Altamirano's The Mommy Clique.

I'm not usually one to go for chick-lit but something about The Mommy Clique seemed to resonate with the mystery lover in me. There's no greater mystery than human nature, and Barbara Altamirano has definitely created a world where the complexities of cliques create a compelling tale. It's a fresh look at the cliché of cliques and popularity, but also has a great theme on authenticity and what true friendship means. These characters are believable and realistic in almost frightening ways, as I'll bet that most readers can put these labels on people they've known in their own life. Don't be fooled into thinking that it's a light read, though. This is definitely an intriguing read that will keep you wondering what these ladies will come up with and if they're able to break free of their self-imposed expectations and the prisons they create. An excellent and riveting read!

Hayley Haun

The Mommy Clique by Barbara Altamirano is a mean girls meets motherhood montage. And boy, do they amp up the antics. Beth moves back home after years of living away in another state. She’s married and has children, so making friends in a kid-friendly neighborhood shouldn’t be too difficult. Right? Wrong. A certain mommy group runs the neighborhood and it may be the most exclusive club around. Elise, the Queen Bee, runs a tight ship, and her minions are at her beck and call. Beth just wants to make new friends, but will it be an all-out war instead?

Whoever thought life beyond high school is dead when you are older, this is not the case. I suppose it is a basic need to want to fit in at any age. Beth’s character and the other women are an example of the need to be a part of a group. We humans aren’t meant to be solitary creatures. We thrive on relationships and companionship to get through this life. Barbara Altamirano writes this truth with a grain of salt. People are manipulative and petty. But people are also kind and giving. It depends on who you meet. In Beth’s case, she had to find the courage to stand up to the evil Cinderella and banish her from the kingdom. Something she couldn’t do before in her high school days comes full circle in her adult life. I believe we can all appreciate the growth of the story’s character and apply this learning to our own lives. Who's to say things won’t become better if we try?

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Mommy Clique by Barbara Altamirano is a fun story about life in suburbia. Beth has returned home to Connecticut to look after her sick mother but life is far from normal in her neighborhood. If facing past ghosts wasn't bad enough, Beth also has to deal with the mothers who live on her street. Elise runs the street, controlling everyone and everything, while her sidekick Kellie is desperate to be heard. Ronnie finds the dirt on anyone connected to Elise, while Gail wants to be an important part of the community. Beth tries to get into this cliquey group, longing to have some mommy friends of her own, but her role in the group isn’t quite what she expected it to be. Those expensive homes with their perfect gardens hide the reality of what seems to be a perfect life and Beth is about to experience it first-hand.

The Mommy Clique by Barbara Altamirano is a hilarious story about how life in suburbia is far from the perfect life people think it is. The Mommy Clique delivers a unique satirical look at how people don't learn from their youth and are destined to repeat their mistakes over and again. Bullying, racism, and attempted sexual assault are some of the themes running through the story, together with very strong characters, well-developed into real people with their own voices and very definite flaws. This story takes you behind the façade of those expensive homes and cliquey circles and shows us the reality that often grownups behave no better than they did in their youth and, sometimes, even worse. This is a funny story that will have you laughing out loud in places, wincing in others but it will hold your attention right to the very last page.

Jennifer Ibiam

Beth Tapia moved from Texas to Connecticut to care for her sick mother. Connecticut and the neighborhood brought back terrible memories because of her experiences as a youngster. However, Beth needed friends in the residential area, and she crossed paths with The Mommy Clique. The clique comprised four mothers from the neighborhood. Elise was the queen, Ronnie the sleuth and servant, Kelly, the double-faced sycophant, and Gail the tag-along. Then there was Beth, the newcomer, and target of this clique. Unfortunately, the bullied and scared high school girl who wanted to fit in bubbled just beneath the surface. The gang would take advantage of her insecurities and mess with her in the worst ways. Would Beth ever grow a backbone? The Mommy Clique by Barbara Altamirano has the details.

Would you strive to belong to a gang that stole your confidence, peace, and self-respect for a revered social standing? The Mommy Clique by Barbara Altamirano is a captivating novel that screamed high school shenanigans. It featured a group of women pulling cruel pranks, bullying, playing mind games, and fighting for power. The characters also displayed obsession, projection, conceit, low self-esteem, and heavy doses of pretense. I loved the plot and story. The novel was also hilarious because often we try to impress people who project perfection. But their realities would shock us. I loved the characters and felt like Ronnie wasted her talents on Elise. Elise lived in a fool’s paradise, reminding me that 'pride comes before a fall.' The story ended on a high note and with a broad grin on my face. Thank you, Barbara!