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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 5 March 2017
Great book full of a reasonably in-depth story line but easy to read, it makes for a brilliant read
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on 20 September 2003
With bullying and child abuse such strong agenda-setting issues at the moment, this book is a rare opportunity to get inside the head of the kind of girl who made many of our schooldays a total misery.
Anti-heroine Tracey Mortimer LOVED school and it’s easy to see why. She ruled the place; everyone was terrified of her, including the teachers. But now with a dreary life and kids who bore as well as disappoint her and a husband’s who’s worse, Tracey looks back longingly to the days of the old school yard.
If you’ve ever wondered what makes a bully tick, what presses their buttons, this is the book for you. It can’t have been easy creating such a heroine and to make her a sympathetic character we, ultimately, find ourselves rooting for is testimony to Harrison’s skill as a writer. And she beautifully realises the heroine’s two young children with some of most poignant and moving scenes in the book.
Old School Ties is a rant against worshipping at the shrine of ignorance which is, of course, what most school bullies do when they taunt the class swots they actually deeply envy. Tracey is a brighter spark - and infinitely more interesting - than those lives she’s supposedly ruined. In the end, of course, she only really blighted her own but she’s the guts, tenacity and determination to put that right.
Though the book has some flaws - the love affair with the tutor was, for me, a yuk factor too far, I recommend it. It’s entertaining as well as thought provoking and definitely a read for our times.
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on 22 November 2004
It is rare to stumble across a book of the chick-lit genre that focuses on possibly the most (well, for some) entertaining aspect of anyone's life - school. After hearing of this title, I was amused by the synopsis and thought it would be a funny, enlightening read. I was definitely right.
Tracey Mortimer is a regular, thirty-something mum of two with a somewhat boring life and an even more boring (and irritating) husband. When she spies an advertisement from a TV company offering the chance for a school reunion (to be filmed, of course), she jumps at the chance. After all, she WAS the most popular girl at school...
Popular she was, but to the mifortune of many others. While Tracey assumes she can have a fun-packed, friendly reunion, others are thinking differently. Including Suzanne Sharp; Tracey's favourite victim of torment, and Gary, her old boyfriend who she humiliated years before. Is the party all going to go as planned?
Without giving too much away, Tracey Mortimer, the most popular girl at Crawley Park Comprehensive, is in for a shocking experience.
New author Kate Harrison presents the most realistic of characters, and pays close attention to everyday aspects of school such as bullying. Always the bully, Tracey does not realise how much misery she caused until her own daughter is the victim of playground bullies. Anyone who attended a regular high school can relate to the characters introduced; the successful swot, the 'fat' girl who is friends with everyone, and the popular, pretty girls whose lives were constantly focused on boys yet always seemed to end up worse off. Reading this I could relate to my own days at school (even though I was born the year in which Tracey left!). The popular, teasing kind always ended up as average, stay-at-home mums in unhappy relationships. And, like Tracey, there was always something missing in their lives.
Not only was this book excellent in terms of writing style and brilliant story, it was also one of the most amusing books I have read in a long while. True, entertaining and extremely funny, this was one of the most delightful books out there. I definitely recommend it. Especially to those reality TV fans.
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on 14 February 2011
but now she is a mum of 2 kids with a crap husband. how the mighty fall but was it as good as she remembered. with a tv channel wanting to make a programme about reunions she thinks this is the perfect way to relive her glory days. the book brings up issues that are relevant even today (the book was written in 2001) and as her life starts to unravel she realises that maybe that school life wasnt perfect and she needs to be stronger now and turn her life around. great story with some funny moments
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on 16 September 2003
This is a very good story told with tremendous style and originality. It's very, very funny. What really made me sit up when I started reading it was the way it begins with Tracey's view of the world and what happens to her when she, with the help of a TV crew, organises a friends reunited style school reunion and then we go to the TV station and the ghastly TV producer and his side-kicks, then to the other pupils, the teachers... all knitted together seamlessly for a fantastic read.
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on 10 July 2012
Otherwise the re union sites would not be so popular. Just like Tracey Mortimer who thought she was the most popular girl in school....Wrong....We all knew a Tracey and for some of us she made going to school a nightmare and returning after the summer holidays worth ggetting chicken pox to aviod!
But this is a great book as it gives us both sides of the story, you see why Tracey is really a sad person, having lost her best friend, she realises when she is approached to organise a reunion for prime time TV that she was not the popular girl she thought she was, sad, happy and a book for us all to read and absorb , take what you can from it, enjoy, its beautifully written.
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on 20 April 2014
Good read even though the main character was a somewhat flawed person. Dealt with the issue of bullying well, with the main culprit being unable to cope with the fact that her own daughter was suffering the traumas that she had once inflicted on her fellow school pupils.
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on 9 November 2013
i love kate harrison and this is another great book. not as great as some of her other books, but it is a good, funny, heartfelt read
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on 5 February 2010
This book was so hard to get into and then didn't really have much of a plot.
There were a few twists but an anti climax ending.
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on 28 January 2013
There isn't a Kate Harrison book which I have read that isn't a good read, and this is another one. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.
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