The School Gates by @nicolamay1 - Best seller on Amazon UK


T 3:10 PM every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary in Denbury to collect their children.

School Gates

by Nicola May

For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows. When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child's father, she doesn't expect the consequences to be quite so extreme. Ex Czech au-pair Earth Mummy Dana finds happiness in her secret sideline, but really all she longs for is another child. Slummy Mummy Mo's wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Supper Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow.

And what of Gay Daddy Gordon? Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?

Four very different mothers. One adorable dad. And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings .

Reviews from Amazon (UK)

I have yet to enjoy the real-life experience of the school run but I think that Nicola May is extremely clever to bring her characters together in such a way. These characters see each other every day but what do they really know about each other and what are they all saying behind each other's backs?

Alana is not a natural mother, she gains more pleasure from business meetings. However, when she reveals the identity of her daughter's father she cannot foresee how things will change. Her life and those of others will not be the same again.

Dana has the perfect life to anyone looking in from the outside. Beautiful son, loving and hardworking husband and a stunning house. But Dana is far from fulfilled but what would her husband say if he knew what she really wants?

Mo and Joan are good friends away from the school gates. Mo does not know how to escape her abusive husband and Joan has a large family to juggle plus whatever life has to throw at her.

Gordon is gay and a father of twins; not out of choice but out of love and loyalty to his sister who was tragically killed. Learning to be a parent is not easy but neither is entering the dating game when your long term partner has a wobble.

The School Gates is an entertaining read, because of all the characters there is a lot going on. Nicola May brings all of the story lines together and the book has a good pace. I didn't find it predictable, there were a good few twists and turns. I recommend The School Gates, it has good story lines and realistic characters.

May covers some quite serious issues in the book, from death and consequent adoption of children, to single parenthood, IVF, miscarriage and domestic abuse amongst others, yet I didn't find the book hard to read at all. In fact, I loved that it got stuck in with these areas, and it was made all the more realistic because you could really believe these characters were going through these things, and as we all do, hide the pain at the school gates and plaster a smile on our face.

I particularly felt for Dana and Mo in the book, two women who were once happy but through various ways find themselves in terrible positions, and your heart really goes out to them. I do have to say May writes the scenes with children especially well too, so often I've read books with children where I think the author hasn't got a clue about how children speak or react yet I was really impressed with May's efforts in this book.

I really enjoyed The School Gates and found it to be a very entertaining read that doesn't shy away from the more serious side of life behind closed doors of the parents involved. I have to say I was pleased that that the bad language I've encountered in Nicola's previous books wasn't really there this time around, and was no more the worse for it (unless she had my copy specially doctored haha!!).

With a cast of likeable and realistic characters, the book takes you on a journey along with these people battling their woes and sadnesses, and also smiling a fair bit too. May carries all of these characters easily, balancing the storylines and keeping her narrative voice in the third person which worked so well for the multiple people involved in the story. Do pick up a copy of The School Gates, you won't be left disappointed.

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