Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Ben Green for Reader Views (03/15)
Karen Gorback's book “Freshman Mom” is an excellent read about a single mother, Meredith, who after 18 years of marriage, divorces, and off to community college in order to pursue her dream of becoming a scientific researcher. The book is great because it is written about the struggles of an everyday mother and her family, and how she struggles to raise her two children while going to school. At first I did not expect to like this book, but it is so well written and easy to read that I ended up enjoying very much. Gorback does a great job at capturing everyday problems and making them worth reading.
In one scene Meredith explains to the baby sitter just arriving that she cannot afford to pay her because she just paid the other sitter (who was just leaving) twenty five dollars. It is scenes like this sprinkled throughout the book that make it such an enjoyable read. When I first started reading the book I had to check to make sure that it was not a biography. The story is so believable and the characters seem like everyday people you could meet on the street. The interactions between Meredith and her teenage daughter are priceless. Toward the end of the book Meredith's daughter, who initially opposed her going to school, gives her mom a pep talk when she is talking about quitting. The character development is excellent and Karen Gorback gets so many details right. Everything in her book feels real.
If you enjoy reading fiction that is meaningful and near reality then I recommend you pick up a copy of “Freshman Mom” by Karen Gorback. The book is a fast read and can probably be read in two or three sittings. “Freshman Mom” is perfect for a day at the park. I really did not expect to like this book based on the title, but it surprised me. It is well written, easy to read, and realistic. I love how Gorback managed to write about something as common as a mother going back to school late in life and still make it interesting.