Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead

Laura & Emma

A tender, witty debut novel about a single mother raising her daughter among the upper crust of New York City society in the late twentieth century from a nine-time Moth StorySLAM champion.Laura hails from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, born into old money, drifting aimlessly into her early thirties. One weekend in 1981 she meets Jefferson. The two sleep together. He vanishes. And Laura realizes she’s pregnant. Enter: Emma. Despite her progr...

Details Laura & Emma

TitleLaura & Emma
Release DateMar 13th, 2018
PublisherSimon Schuster
GenreFiction, Contemporary

Reviews Laura & Emma

  • Amalia Gavea
    ‘’You’re not supposed to cry when someone gives you a present.’’ Although I’m not actually a reader of what I call ‘’Family Conflict’’ novels, I cannot say ‘’no’’ to stories whose protagonists are single parents. I consider the women and men who decide to raise their children without a partner’s help, overcoming any social or financial obstacles, to be the bravest of the brave. When the novel is also set in New York,...
  • Elyse
    Kooky and Quirky are words that kept popping into my head as I read - and enjoyed “Laura & Emma”......with dialogue that included such sayings as “hippy-dippy”, “lousy-goosey”, and “hoity-toity”. Don’t get me wrong - there ‘are’ plenty of serious themes in this novel ......but there are just so many wacky moments - that this novel becomes really comical. Emma was born in 1981.....( the same year my first born child was born ...
  • Diane S ☔
    Nothing big happens in this novel. There are no big splashy scenes, no dramatic renderings, no horrific accidents, just the life lived of a young woman, Laura and her daughter Emma. Just life as it goes day by day, in all it's often messy glory. Laura comes from a very privileged background, and as much as she discards part of its trappings on one hand,on the other her job is owed to this background. As is part of her financial health and the mon...
  • Victoria
    A pensive, subtle story that provides us scenes in a life from the weighty to the commonplace.I read a column recently where the writer extolled the virtues of memoirs of lives that exemplified the challenges and realities of our common, daily existence, those that didn’t face the extraordinary, but instead were about the decisions people have made before and millions will make again. That’s what this book of fiction aims to do and in that wa...
  • Marie
    What I loved most about this book, was the unexpected heroine, Laura. She is an unassuming woman who dresses plainly despite her beauty and avoids social gatherings. However, she takes delight in the fisherman’s gaze when she sunbathes topless. She spends an eight week summer vacation in Ashuant repeating this ritual, while the other extended family members play and socialize elsewhere. Each chapter in this book is filled with quirky, humanizin...
  • Cindy Burnett
    Laura and Emma is a beautifully written book about the relationship between a mother and daughter, each an individual who marches to the beat of a different drummer. They are born into privilege in New York City’s Upper East Side, and Laura in particular struggles to separate herself from this life while still relying on aspects of this privilege. But the novel covers so much more – New York City in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the AIDS epidemi...
  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.What a beautiful debut novel from Kate Greathead! Laura and Kate deals with the relationship between a single mother and her headstrong daughter. Set in New York City during the 1980's and 1990's it is filled with stories of private education, summer houses, family ties, the AIDS epidemic, and trying to find one's place in the world. I loved...
  • Bam
    A delightfully fun, character-driven debut novel by Kate Greathead about Laura, a quirky young single mother, raising her daughter Emma in NYC. But "life hadn't required Laura to navigate unknown territory on her own." She is a WASP descendant of one of the Robber Barons of old and works as an event planner at the museum that was once the private residence of her great-grandfather. The way in life has always been smoothed for her, even when it re...
  • Sherri Thacker
    This is a quirky little book that has short chapters which makes for quick reading. I really enjoyed this book and laughed out loud in many spots. This is Kate Greathead’s debut novel and I think she did a great job with it. Thank you for this complimentary copy of this book from Simon & Schuster through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
  • Nancy
    Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead follows the relationship between mothers and daughters, told in vignettes against the changing times between 1980 and 1995. It is a comedy of manners novel with loads of laugh out loud moments.Laura comes from a wealthy New York City family descended, from a Robber Baron whose inherited wealth supports her. She has a degree in English and a job through the family. She envies self-made people.Laura has never been in ...
    APRIL #BELLETRISTBOOK is in! Laura hails from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, born into old money, drifting aimlessly into her early thirties. One weekend in 1981 she meets Jefferson. The two sleep together. He vanishes. And Laura realizes she’s pregnant. Enter: Emma.... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀We can’t wait for all our babes and beaus to read along! Our #belletristbookstore of the month Farley's Bookshop is offering the book at 20% off ...
  • Natalie
    This is such a special and charming book about an odd and delightful heroine, Laura, and her relationship with her daughter, Emma. Told in a series of vignettes that begin with Emma’s unusual conception and end with the sad separation of the two. Greathead paints an authentic portrait of the WASPS who inhabit Manhattan’s old money’s Upper Eastside. Every word is perfectly chosen so that the reader can see each character and empathize with t...
  • Irene Adam
    I received a free e-copy of this book and have chosen to write an honest and unbiased review. I have no personal affiliation with the author. I did not enjoy this book. This is the story of a single mother and her daughter as she becomes a young woman. The characters all seemed quite superficial to me. They lived a life of privilege that seemed to be without purpose and meaning. The ending was quite abrupt and confusing. There didn’t seem to be...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:'Laura was envious of others’ accounts of struggle, which were recalled with a certain fondness. It had been an adventure, the thrill of the hustle; they’d chased a dream against the odds, and now they were living it. She could only imagine the pride of being personally responsbile for everything one had- professional success, friends, apartment- and being able to trace all this back to hard w...
  • Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books
    I requested Laura & Emma because it ticked every box in my ‘oh, this is going to be so good’ reading checklist. Debut? Check. Female author? Check. New York City? Check. Quirky female protagonist? Double check because she’s rich as well. The novel is the story of Laura, a young woman who comes from such wealth that after college she doesn’t even need to look for a job, she just goes to work at one of her family’s foundations in a job th...
  • The Blonde Bookworm
    Laura is a single mother in NYC who comes from a good bit of money. She's the "Plain Jane" type and doesn't seem to get too excited about many things. After a random one night stand, Laura becomes pregnant with Emma. The novel continues with the story of Laura and Emma's lives and the ups and downs they experience together. I really thought this novel was going to be amazing because other readers said it was similar to Gilmore Girls, but it fell ...
  • Mary
    Maybe I’m being a little more generous with my stars than usual, but this book felt inordinately special, charming, and completely took me by surprise with the big (but quiet?) feels it evoked. I wasn’t sure what to expect of it before reading, and even after finishing– it has left me puzzled as to how to truly characterize it. I’d heard some pre-release buzz about this one being Gilmore-Girls-esque– and frankly, I think that does a dis...
  • Ellen
    "Laura and Emma" is a beautiful and brave big book. From so many little miraculously interesting stories, something big emerges. And the writing! The writing is incredibly beautiful. Kate Greathead is a wonderfully gifted storyteller. Each section–the book is divided by years–made me want to go on to the next. The only reason it took so long to read (a week) is that life, work, and fatigue got in the way.I loved the story of Laura and Emma’...
  • jendlo
    A snore of a story set in the city that never sleeps.It's as though the author talked wrote to hear her own voice. Told in vignettes by year, the story is really just copious descriptions of the minutiae in the life an uptown woman — whose daughter's upbringing paralleled mine, making me think I was its ideal audience.The novel had been atop my 2018 Must List, and when it was available to Read Now, I jumped at the opportunity! Although the blur...
  • Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
    3.5 Told through vignettes over about a 14 year period in which we meet Laura who is a well off girl who isn't interested in embodying someone who is wealthy but she's also not against taking any monetary gifts. She doesn't wear makeup and she chooses to live in Harlem. She doesn't dress the part either. I liked the 'idea' of the character but it didn't quite follow through for me. She has a one night stand and ends up pregnant and raises a girl,...
  • Wendi Lee
    Laura is a single mother, hailing from a wealthy Upper East Side family, raising Emma during the 80's and 90's. We see vignettes of mother and daughter through the decades; and if I can be absolutely honest, I wish it had been more than just vignettes, which left me feeling removed from the characters. I started reading this thinking it might be a literary equivalent to Gilmore Girls, and while there are some similarities, especially with wealthy...
  • Tara - Running 'n' Reading
    It's no secret that I'm a sucker for debut novels; I also really enjoy novels that are organized in vignettes, a style that is not often utilized but, when done well, can be very pleasing. When I heard that Laura & Emma had been recommended to fans of Gilmore Girls and Ladybird, and is set in the 1980s and 90s, I couldn't resist! In 1981, and in her early 30s, Laura discovers that a rare sexual encounter has left her with child; she considers abo...
  • Lane
    Okay, I'm calling it. I've been sitting at 53% for a couple weeks and I just have no desire to finish. Ever. This book began incredibly well. Laura presents, to me, as an asexual Uptown New Yorker that has grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth, but attempts to keep herself grounded by any means, like taking up environmental issues and working despite there really being no need. Before Emma arrives, Laura is funny and relatable, and I just kne...
  • Karly
    I thought I would love this book as it was compared to The Gilmore Girls and was billed as the story of the relationship of a single mom and her daughter living in NYC. However, I did not. The main character Laura is just boring and while she does have some interesting observations about life, I never really "felt" the bond of her relationship with her daughter Emma.The two standout characters to me are Laura's VERY old-moneyed mother who, was ab...
  • Janilyn Kocher
    I couldn't connect with this book, I found the story dry and somewhat dull. None of the characters had depth. They just glided along the surface of the story. The ending was abrupt, leaving me asking What?? I honestly didn't care what happened to any of the characters, they were just devoid of emotion. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
  • Cindy H.
    Many thanks to Simon & Schuster Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Kate Greathead’s debut novel Laura & Emma. Billed as a literary Gilmore Girls, set during the tumultuous 1980s, this book was surprisingly quiet and thoughtful. It’s the story of introvert Laura, raised by vivacious upper east side mother Bibs who finds herself suddenly pregnant after an unexpected one night stand. Told in vignettes, the reader follows La...
  • ♥ Marlene♥
    Well I can say one thing about this book and that is that I tried. I really tried but I can't do it no more. I am not emotionally invested in the main characters at all and I do not care what they are doing or are going to do. What a bore. Now I am not someone who always needs to have action in my books but the characters were one dimensional and tedious.No more!
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    Laura & Emma is a collection of brilliant tiny stories, some only a few paragraphs, that amazingly reveal, like a haiku, the eccentric whimseys of a mother, her daughter, her daughter's daughter, her daughter's best friend, and her daughter's best friend's daughter. It's a delight of a book, with odd plot twists, and strange life decisions on the part of the characters, that is told in a wonderful precision of words, with little jumps in time and...
  • Patty
    Laura And EmmaByKate GreatheadWhat it's all about...Laura is an “upper class” girl...New York private schools, trust funds, and a family beach house that no one uses but her. By an unbelievable accident...she becomes pregnant. She decides to stay pregnant and has Emma. Even though Laura was born into money she is unique in her circles. Her clothes, her beliefs and her lifestyle are all different from her friends. They don’t really get her a...