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Carpool Diem    by Nancy Star order for
Carpool Diem
by Nancy Star
Order:  USA  Can
5 Spot, 2008 (2008)
*   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

Carpool Diem has all of the factors required for a good momlit novel: cutesy title, crazy working mom, interesting husband figure, wild family and minor characters, and a good plotline. Author Nancy Star, however, falls short of combining this substance into a great book and instead leaves a mishmash of half-developed characters and an unsatisfying conclusion.

Annie Fleming is your typical rich-girl, work-obsessed thirty-something. She spends most of her time in another state, leaving her daughter Charlotte with a full-time nanny. When she attempts to stand up for herself at work, Annie finds herself quickly unemployed and forced to spend time with Charlotte and examine her life. The novel centers on Annie's discovery of Charlotte's love for soccer and her determination to get Charlotte into the best soccer team around - the Power, headed by a near-insane Winslow West.

If Star had focused the plot on Annie being crazy-driven to get Charlotte into the team; or formed a strong, loving relationship between Charlotte and Annie; or really examined Annie's worry about her husband Tim and his time spent in Atlanta, the novel would have worked better. But all these storylines are left floating around and the characters lack depth. In fact, the aspect of the book I found most entertaining were the intermittent letters from Winslow West to his team encouraging them to get yellow flags and revealing his obsessive tendencies.

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