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May Contain Nuts

It so happens that we live very close to John O’Farrell and are ourselves just embarking on the hideous process that is finding a school for our daughter – the subject of his most recent book May Contain Nuts.

However, you don’t have to be a mother yourself to enjoy this wickedly funny satire on the lengths to which obsessive parents will go to give their children “the best possible start in life”.

It’s all there and horribly recognisable – the competitiveness of the parents, the stressed-out kids, the perennial fear of something happening to their little darlings, the 4x4s…

However, few probably go to the lengths of Alice Chaplin (the anti-heroine of the book) who descends to dressing up as her 11-year-old daughter and sitting the entrance exam to the exclusive Chelsea College in her place.

I've read all John O'Farrell's books and they never fail to make me laugh, mainly because his observations are so sharp and painfully accurate.

But shoot me if I end up like this...