BARBARIANS at THE PTA – BOOK REVIEW, suburban mom hustle

I’m a suburban mom, living in Westchester, reading a book written by another Westchester suburban mom.


Barbarians at the PTA, written by psychologist and psychoanalyst Dr. Stephanie Newman, is sharply written and so witty with words, that it was almost impossible not to devour it in three sittings.

Heads up: I haven’t been able to finish a book all year long.

Barbarians at the PTA, grabs your attention and draws you into the life of Victoria, a single-mom and psychologist navigating life in a plush (and not often polite) town in Westchester, and her 10-year-old, just-got-on-the-Insta daughter, Rachel.

Barbarians at the PTA Stephanie Newman, book review Pamela Pekerman

Having been told what I should expect when I moved to my suburban town, two years ago, I could absolutely relate to some of the unpleasantness that Victoria encounters with PTA moms in her fictitious town of Mayfair Close.

I don’t want to give the book away – trust me you’ll enjoy and read thru it in one week, max! – but I will just add that there is so much to not only devour as a reader, but to absorb as a mother.

From dealing with cyber scares with kids, bullying and not feeling like you as the adult fit in, to navigating the delicate duties of parenthood, which Dr. Newman so poignantly describes as “trying to manage your own private tsunami” Barbarians at the PTA is a psychological guide for moms to maneuver the emotional roller coaster of motherhood/ selfhood/ workinghood … ya, we got a lot of scary hoods to deal with.

2020 is an unconventional year, and we need many tools to process our emotions. We also need to continuously be mindful that we have strong eyes looking up to us; eyes that are absorbing how we process daily changes, and little hearts that have their own emotional journeys.

Barbarians at the PTA Stephanie Newman, book review Pamela Pekerman

Barbarians at the PTA is sure to be a great tool this fall, as we transition into a new season, an unconventional school return, and the never-ending surprises of mothering in 2020.

If you’ve read Barbarians at the PTA by Dr. Stephanie Newman, drop a comment below and let me know your favorite line or what resenated most with you.