While the book makes occasional references to outside events, like the presidential election and 2020’s devastating Western wildfire season, Ehlers’s approach is apolitical and tightly focused on Covid’s impact on daily family life. Readers of contemporary memoirs will relate to major milestones—such as restaurant closings and mask mandates—but Ehlers primarily recounts the pandemic through the lens of stay-at-home motherhood, describing in both harrowing and humorous detail how she tries to help her children manage “eSchool,” social isolation, and cabin fever, tasks made even more difficult due to the “Extreme Parenting” required by her children’s ADHD and related conditions.
Though her descriptions of family conflicts are muted, Ehlers’s openness about them and their impact on her mental health is compelling. In addition to these larger challenges, the day-to-day struggles of Covid living—sourcing toilet paper, celebrating birthdays in isolation, “Fix-It Fridays,” keeping her sourdough starter alive, and finding somewhere to use the bathroom on road trips—drive Ehlers to coping mechanisms that range from prayer to a heavy McDonald’s Diet Coke habit. Whatever their pandemic experience, readers of parenting memoirs will find it easy to connect to Ehlers’s playfulness and sincerity, and they will admire the endurance and love that saw her through her family’s pandemic.
Takeaway: A heartwarming and relatable look into one family’s lockdown that will particularly resonate with parents.
Great for fans of: Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions, Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A