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Battle for Big School
By Sarah Tucker
Arrow Books £6.99
FT bookshop price: £5.59

The average UK state school is a breeding ground for the Asbo alumni, so Lily Dearl and her friends must get their children into the Oaks, a coveted grammar.

It’s do or die – or at least that’s what the relentlessly hyperbolic tone of this novel claims. Though school is one of her pet topics, Tucker lacks the subtlety to address the educational postcode lottery that families dread.

Her tongue-in-cheek attempts to convey how far parents will go to get their children into a good school only undermine the seriousness of the issue; her self-indulgent characters are hard to sympathise with.

Tucker’s incessant name-dropping of brands also becomes irritating after a while.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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