An impending school reunion usually generates strong feelings; whether enthusiastic or terrified, few are immune to nervousness when meeting enemies and friends past.
Some may even fantasies about confronting their high-school nemesis or use their reunion as motivation to make changes in their life.
Debut author Christine Stinson covers all these scenarios and more in her engaging novel Getting Even with Fran.
Thirty years after leaving St Agnes Ladies College, Cecilia is a successful lawyer with no desire to see her archenemy, Fran, again.
But, when Cecilia's life is shattered by her husband's shocking revelation, she changes her mind and decides that the reunion could be the perfect opportunity to settle old scores.
Cecilia's not the only one still carrying baggage from her school years.
Author Christine Stinson introduces us to six other St Agnes graduates, who are all battling their own problems and nursing mixed emotions.
Sharon has an old bone to pick with good-two-shoes Anne. Facing her own mortality Nellie decides to confront her past demons. And Kerry, who is determined to show up on the night looking svelte, is on a fast-track campaign to loose weight before the party.
Plus there is also Fran, who has a rather different take on her old relationship with Cecilia.
When these seven women come together they find that time has no healed all wounds, and they must make a decision whether to get along, or get even.
Christine Stinson was inspired when she received an invitation to her own 30 year reunion, but most importantly Getting Even with Fran was born of Stinson's desire to write a book that she would love to read, with characters she could relate to and scenarios she would resonate with like-minded readers.
"I wanted to explore the fictional possibilities of a group of women who don't necessarily like each other coming together after a long time apart," says Stinson. "What challenges and triumphs are they experiencing in the present and what baggage might they still be carrying from the past?"
A heart-warming and entertaining tale of letting go of the past, Getting Even with Fran is a perfect Mother's Day read and heralds an exciting new talent in Australian fiction.
Christine Stinson is a former language teacher whose children have now flown the nest, meaning she can indulge her greatest passion - writing - fulltime. She lives with her husband in Sydney and is currently working on her second novel, It Takes a Village.
Getting Even With Fran
Pan MacMillian Australia
Author: Christine Stinson