#aww2021 · 2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: Tipping by Anna George

Title: Tipping

Author: Anna George

Published: March 2nd 2021

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Pages: 416

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

An Instagram scandal at a grammar school sparks outrage in an exclusive bayside suburb and upends the lives of the families involved. However, it might also prove to be the tipping point required to change the school, and the wider community, for the better.

Liv Winsome, working mother of three sons, wife to decent if distracted Duncan, is overwhelmed. And losing her hair. Her doctor has told her she needs to slow down, do less. Focus on what’s important.

After Jai, one of her fourteen-year-old twins, is involved in a sexting scandal, Liv realises things need to change, and fast. Inspired by the pop-psychology books she devours, she writes a nine-page list of everything she does to keep the family afloat, and she delegates. She lets her boys’ conservative school know it has some work to do, too – partly, Liv suspects, because its leadership has a ‘woman problem’ (or, rather, a too-many-men problem).

Jai’s girlfriend, Grace, is at the heart of the sexting scandal and her mum, Jess Charters, up in arms as well, goes to the media. The women’s combined focus forces Carmichael Grammar to take action. To everyone’s surprise, and Liv’s delight, things actually start to improve.

Inspired by his wife’s efforts, Duncan rethinks the way he lives and works, too, despite the workaholic culture of his law firm and its scary managing partner, who’s also Duncan’s older brother. In unexpected ways, Liv and Duncan’s marriage and family life undergo their own transformations. Some new developments, though, aren’t entirely welcome.

Light-hearted and optimistic, Tipping is a novel for our times. It’s a story of domestic activism. Mum and dad activism. Because real change is possible. Sometimes all it takes is a tweak. And the will. And a bit of fun.

Review:

Tipping by Anna George is a book for everyone. It is current, lively, filled with bright characters and it presents some very intriguing ideas. I’m sure anyone who picks up Tipping to read will find some elements of the story presented that relates to their life.

Meet Liv Winsome, a harried mother of three who is balancing work with motherhood and domestic life. Liv’s husband Duncan is unaware of the impact his wife’s busy life has managed to place on her health and wellbeing. Liv knows she must do something to slow her life down a notch, but what needs to give? Liv has fourteen-year-old twins and to add her problems, one of her twins is involved in a scandal that rocks the school community. Liv decides to take matters into her own hands and she sets about rearranging aspects of her life. But seems as though this scandal will not go away. However, help comes in the form of the fellow student involved in the scandal and their parents who decide to support Liv in suggesting the school their children attend make some all-important changes. Inspired by the changes his wife is making, Duncan decides to attack his workplace culture, which values a workaholic approach rather than a healthy balance of life and family with work. It is hard to introduce these essential changes to begin with, but gradually thoughts, idea and practices begin to shift in the right way. Tipping is a book that is in touch with our current way of living. Anna George’s book is a tribute to our current busy way of life and it heralds a new form of essential change that is needed in our society.

Tipping is the third novel from Anna George, an author with a great deal of prior experience in the legal and television industries. Tipping is quite a change of pace for Anna George who has previously penned two thrillers. Tipping is a rich contemporary title that taps into some vital areas that currently define our everyday lives. Zoning in on ideas such as domestic activism and equality, Tipping is a stimulating composition.

With so many of us leading such hectic lives, it is hard to achieve that ideal balance between family life, personal time and paid work. I know I am currently struggling with this general life conundrum since the year began, so I am happy to take all the advice I can! Anna George has presented a very realistic, authentic and modern novel. The ideas, responses and situations in Tipping are completely plausible. I am pleased that the author managed to capture the essence of present-day Australian life. Drawing in issues of personal health, social media, sexting, marriage, relationships, friendships, schooling, community relations, stress and equality, Tipping is a book that takes on a number of challenging themes. I thought the author tackled these varied issues with insight and sensitivity.

Tipping features a cast of a relatable and vibrant characters, who all manage to contribute something to the overall message of the book. There were times where I was able to nod my head in agreement and understanding of the female characters featured in Tipping. I could also see shades of Duncan in the men in my life! While some of the teenage issues were a little scary for me to consider as a mother of younger boys (eight and eleven) but I am now prepared for what I might be faced with in the near future.

Featuring short and succinct chapters that allow the pages of this novel to turn by themselves, Tipping is a quick paced read. I did feel the length of this 400-page novel at some points and I have to confess that reading Tipping at the end of a very busy week wasn’t the best choice as I did feel my attention lagged. However, this may be attributed to my own sheer exhaustion levels while reading Tipping.

Tipping offers a spirited look at the precarious balance between motherhood, marriage and employment. It is perceptive, sharp and empowering. Book your reading spot with Anna George and her engaging new novel Tipping today!

Tipping by Anna George was published on 2nd March 2021 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Tipping, Anna George, visit here.

*I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Tipping is book #24 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge

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