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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Playground is a work of fiction in the women's fiction and interpersonal drama sub-genres and was penned by author Michelle Lee. The first novel in The Secret Lives of Moms series, the work focuses on a fascinating and intense drama about one mother’s moral dilemma to raise money and alleviate the financial crisis in her family. The plot follows protagonist Anna Reed, a devoted wife and mother of three, who feels the pressures of daily life and putting food on the table for her family. So begins a desperate bid to raise money by trafficking a substance that looks suspiciously like baby powder, transported in diaper bags.
Author Michelle Lee has crafted a superb and engaging drama that is sure to take fans of women's fiction to a whole new level in their next reading experience. Despite its rather sensational premise, this is a story rooted in the very real emotions of a mother trying to do what's best for her family. The commitment to character development is consistent throughout the novel, delivering an emotive and close narrative where we see every facet of Anna’s dilemmas, motivations, and struggles. I also really enjoyed the Pennsylvania attitude and the vivid atmosphere of the surroundings, which indicates that the author knows a great deal about the place she chooses for her setting. I was also impressed by the dialogue, which does not rely on tropes or clichés, but enhances the realism and makes Anna a character that you feel you could really talk to. Overall, I would highly recommend The Playground to fans of both women's fiction and contemporary crime drama as an engrossing page-turner from start to finish.