Room and Board: A Novel (Paperback)
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A charming and redemptive novel about unexpected second chances, following a publicist who, after the sudden implosion of her career, takes a job as a dorm mom at a Sonoma boarding school that happens to be her alma mater
Gillian thought she had everything she ever wanted—as a successful publicist running her own Manhattan firm and working with a high-profile-celebrity clientele, she finally made herself at home among the elite who eluded her throughout her youth. That is, until her career implodes, leaving her jobless, friendless, and with a googleable reputation that follows her everywhere. So, when she receives an offer to become a “dorm mom” at Glen Ellen Academy, the prestigious Sonoma boarding school she attended two decades earlier on scholarship, she leaps at the opportunity for a change of scene—at least until she can figure out how to rehabilitate her career.
But Gillian is surprised to find herself enjoying her new life: her role as a mentor is unexpectedly fulfilling, she finds a community, and most surprisingly of all she runs into an old flame from her own time at school, who is just as dashing now as he was then. However, just as she begins to feel comfortable, a scandal surfaces on campus that threatens to derail everything, and Gillian must figure out how to save her job, her students, her friends, and her new romance before it’s too late.
About the Author
Miriam Parker is the associate publisher of Ecco and the author of The Shortest Way Home and Room and Board. She has an MFA in creative writing from UNC Wilmington and a BA in English from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and spaniel, Leopold Bloom.
“A beautiful story about second chances.”
—Zibby Owens on Good Morning America
“As in Parker's first novel, The Shortest Way Home, wine and wineries — and grapes, and cheese and stunning California views — add atmosphere to this frothy tale about growing up and second chances.”
—The Star Tribune
“Parker’s novel explores second chances in a beautiful setting—the picturesque academy and delectable wine country scenery bring out the best in her writing.”
"Parker offers an intriguing twist in this tale of revisiting high school as an adult and redeeming one's past; that and a touch of romance and the lure of second chances make for a fun read.”
“Room and Board is for all of us who dream of a do-over, of returning, older and wiser, to the place and the person that broke our heart for the first time. Miriam Parker writes with humor and grace about how it feels when a life-long What if? is suddenly a reality: the bittersweet knowledge that no matter how much time has passed, some things will always stay the same.”
—Laura Zigman, author of Separation Anxiety
“The perfect summer escape! It was such a treat to spend time at Glen Ellen Academy and joining Gillian on the road to finding herself. The relationship between Gillian and the students she’s entrusted to care for provide a universal, and ultimately fun, story of redemption.”
—Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist and author of One Great Lie
“When one door closes, so they tell us, another one opens—and we’re all lucky that the one Miriam Parker throws wide for us in Room and Board is to the prestigious west coast Glen Ellen Academy, where thirty-something former student Gillian takes a job as a dorm mom after a rough patch in New York City sends her packing from her high-profile job. Just scandal-filled enough to be juicy, goodhearted enough to be charming, with a first-rate cast of characters, Room and Board proves that while you may not be able to go home again, you can definitely go back to boarding school—and you might like it even better the second time around.”
—Meg Mitchell Moore, author of Two Truths and a Lie and Vacationland
"Room and Board is a fast-paced, relatable, and juicy tale that readers will easily connect with. Parker shows that you can go home again, only it won't necessarily be what you expect. The story is thoroughly modern, focusing on the damaging effects of a social media trail that won't quit, but also a timeless tale of new beginnings, facing one's past and realizing the line between adulthood and childhood is murky at best."
—Elyssa Friedland, author of Last Summer at The Golden Hotel