A laugh-out-loud debut novel for anyone who’s tried to live the perfect life—and learned the hard way there’s no such thing.


Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look.

Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…

To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?

Holly Banks Full of Angst
Book One in the Village of Primm Series

Available December 1, 2019

The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks
Book Two in the Village of Primm Series

Available November 2, 2020

Secrets, mystery, and the pursuit of perfection. Welcome to the Village of Primm.

“There are many novels about women struggling to fit into upper-class communities, but debut author Valerie manages to create a story that feels fresh, with sparkling dialogue… A unique and over-the-top look at modern motherhood, full of funny and cringeworthy moments.” Kirkus Reviews

“Valerie’s witty, rollicking novel is an ode to modern motherhood… A charmingly cautionary tale of the pursuit for domestic perfection.” Booklist

“Ever wonder what would happen if Liane Moriarty could channel the late Robin Williams? Me, neither—until I read this astonishing debut, a modern allegorical marvel. Valerie absolutely skewers Parenting While Privileged, and pulls it off without preaching or condescending, thanks to the irresistible, inimitable heroine, Holly, the (questionably) sane person in the insane (but wholly recognizable) world of Primm. I tore through this inventive, compulsive read, pausing only to catch my breath and wipe my eyes at passages so outrageously hilarious, I could not believe what I was reading. So come for the humor, but stay for the honesty. Valerie imbues the narrative with sincerity, and with truths so bald that, at times, the world fell away around me. I’m on my feet and clapping: Brava!”
SONJA YOERG

Washington Post bestselling author of True Places
“Julie Valerie does a great job relaying the anxiety that comes with starting your daughter in kindergarten in a new school and a new town. And she does it with the perfect mix of humor and humility.”
Laurie Gelman

author of Class Mom and You’ve Been Volunteered
”A fresh voice in fiction, Julie Valerie hits it out of the park with her debut novel, Holly Banks Full of Angst. Wise and witty, it's filled with humor that takes some wildly comical turns at times. Lead character Holly Banks, a newcomer to the idyllic village of Primm, is every mom who feels inadequate because her home isn't Pinterest-worthy and she's a less-than-perfect-parent—totally relatable, in other words. Her good heart, which shines through even when she's screwing up, ultimately triumphs over her good-intentions-gone-awry. Love, love, love this novel and can't wait to read the next one by Julie Valerie.”
Eileen Goudge

New York Times Bestselling Author
“Holly Banks Full of Angst is a must-read for any mother who sometimes feels inadequate—and what mother doesn’t? With themes of new beginnings, the quest for perfection, motherhood, and marriage, Valerie delivers lessons in hospitality, humanity, and hope, gently reminding us that we’re all works in progress. If you’re looking for a fun escape filled with humor and heart, look no further than Holly Banks Full of Angst.”
Lori Nelson Spielman

New York Times bestselling author of The Life List
“Seemingly perfect lives are usually anything but, as the eponymous protagonist of Holly Banks Full of Angst quickly learns. A sharp, witty, and altogether unexpected story about how striving can lead you straight to the end of your rope, Julie Valerie’s debut is not to be missed.”
Camille Pagán

bestselling author of I’m Fine and Neither Are You
“You will love the time you spend with Holly Banks in the Stars Hollow–esque Village of Primm. Holly is the perfect heroine: flawed, impulsive, and self-deprecating but also deeply relatable, lovable, and hilarious. This book is pure fun (but be prepared to cry a little). Holly Banks Full of Angst is the perfect read for anyone who has ever wanted to stick it to the Pinterest Mom.”
Suzy Krause

author of Valencia and Valentine
“With wit, whimsy, and an artful sleight-of-the-hand turn of more than a few phrases, Julie Valerie crafts a frothy cautionary tale of suburbia on steroids. It doesn’t aim to be a soothing tonic for the way we live now. Far from it. In each successive scene, heroine Holly’s quest for acceptance by the village of Primm’s well-heeled yummy mommies is stymied by her dream neighborhood’s self-righteous queen bee, Mary-Margaret St. James. It would be much too easy to make readers despise Mary-Margaret. Instead, Valerie nudges our shock at her audacity into awe over her subtle gamesmanship, which invariably has her minions shaking in their Rothy’s flats. No need to skewer Mary-Margaret with snark. Instead, Valerie’s fiercely funny narrative cuts deeper than any swizzle stick. But the village’s highly desired and prolifically Instagrammed curb appeal comes at a very high price. Thankfully, before Holly’s pursuit of the Primm rose-colored view of life is attained at the expense of her less-than-perfect mother, husband, child, dog, and documentary film-making career, she discovers the one secret about the town that can ruin it—or be its salvation. Like a finely crafted cocktail, Valerie’s literary libation packs a potent punch: effervescent but complex, sweet but with just a hint of bitter. I’ll have what she’s having.“
Josie Brown

author of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives and the Totlandia series
“Our plucky heroine, full of quippy asides and enough anxiety to keep us all up ruminating at 3:00 a.m., imagines herself the star of her own movie (because of course she dreams of ditching her SAHM life and fulfilling her long-lost film student aspirations). Personally, I would title her movie Mean Girls for Moms, and you’d find me at the premiere, front row center!”
Lindsey J. Palmer

author of Otherwise Engaged, If We Lived Here, and Pretty in Ink
“With astonishing wit, razor-sharp dialogue, and pitch-perfect pacing, Julie Valerie has created a masterpiece about motherhood. Holly Banks Full of Angst is absolutely hilarious yet also deeply poignant, with some of the best lines I’ve ever read. Both satire and upmarket women’s fiction, this novel will be beloved by readers everywhere.”
Samantha M. Bailey

author of Woman on the Edge

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