by Ann Roberts
Women with secrets. Each with her own reason for keeping up appearances at Cedar Hills Elementary, a school that boasts high academic standards and a spotless reputation.
Principal Faye Burton has recently begun a relationship with coworker Andrea “Andi” Loomis, a woman who lives in fear that their homophobic boss will learn the truth and fire them both.
High-powered, formidable attorney Constance “the Steamroller” Richardson is plotting an appropriate and highly visible revenge against Faye and Andi on behalf of her autistic nephew, a boy she adopted when her sister died. He is the reminder of a debt she owes. One that she can never repay.
Eighth-grader Pandy Webber has decided she wants to live—maybe. She has a new life at Cedar Hills but memories of the past constantly intrude and threaten her mental stability and her future.
Set against the backdrop of middle-school, Keeping up Appearances is a tense and absorbing story, rich in immediacy and authenticity, about LGBT teachers and their students of today, navigating their way through their classrooms and campus politics and the dangerously rooted prejudices of our 21st century America.
Lynne Pierce - May 2011: Finally, the life that evolves in a school is extremely complex in its relationships and subtleness. Anyone who thinks there are easy solutions to any of these situations has failed to grasp what is going on. Ann Roberts has created a book that could be dismissed as a romance that takes place in a school, but there is a lot more going on in this story.
Anna Furtado - October, 2010: Topics such as homophobia, inside and outside the lesbian community, as well as bullying, teen cutters, and the universal truth that we all bring some baggage from our childhood into our adult lives are addressed in this story and make it worth reading. The story ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, which may be the stuff of a continuation of the tale -- a rather intriguing thought. Besides, not all the villains are completely villainous, an appealing premise on its own. The theme of healing inner demons and becoming more comfortable in one's own skin is recurrent in this tale and makes it a worthwhile read.