For a group of four New York friends, the past decade has been largely defined by marriage and motherhood. Educated and reared to believe that they would conquer the world, they then left prestigious jobs to stay home with their babies. What was meant to be a temporary leave of absence has lasted a decade. Now, at age forty, with the halcyon days of young motherhood behind them and without professions to define them, Amy, Jill, Roberta, and Karen face a life that is not what they were brought up to expect but seems to be the one they have chosen. But when Amy meets someone who seems to have fulfilled the classic women's dream of having it all—work, love, family—without having to give anything up, a lifetime's worth of concerns, both practical and existential, opens up. As her obsession with this woman's bustling life grows, it forces the four friends to confront the choices they've made—until a series of startling events shatters the peace and, for some of them, changes the landscape entirely.
Customer ReviewsSee All
My biggest complaint with this book is not that it was boring, although the plot arch was a gentle one. My complaint was with how Wolitzer writes women. I didn't find them terribly convincing. She tries for depth but falls short more often than she succeeds. Their relationships with their husbands and children are flat, and lack the oddities and intimate exchanges that mark real relationships (although, I do believe Wolitzer tried). Really, they aren't very likable women. They lack basic empathy for other women and their own family members, their decisions are shallow, and the "redemption" of their characters I held on for in the end was basically non-existent. I feel Wolitzer offered little of substance on the subject of stay-at-home moms wrestling with their choice to leave the work-force, and the decision of whether or not to return. On this point, her "thesis" was vague and offered no real conclusions. I finished the book, however, and I was decently entertained on my commute--even if I would arrive home peeved at the women with whom I'd shared the journey.
Story matches the title...snore
Giving one star is being kind. Terrible, boring, "so what?" story. Don't waste your money.
The Ten-Year Nap
The voices of the characters resonate authentically. The characters are speaking my thoughts and feelings. Reflects the decisions mothers and fathers have to make in the name of balancing self with family and work and in the current times. I like the representation of different generations.