What happens when having it all proves too much to handle? In this “fresh, funny take on the age-old struggle to have it all” (People) a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny—only to learn every opportunity comes at a price.
“A winning, heartfelt debut” (Good Housekeeping), A Window Opens introduces Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a (mostly) happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker, or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.
Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up, and her work takes an unexpected turn. In the midst of her second coming of age, Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all but, what does she really want the most?
“Smart and entertaining…with refreshing straight-forwardness and humor” (The Washington Post), “fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It and Where’d You Go, Bernadette will adore A Window Opens” (Booklist, starred review).
Glamour magazine's books editor Egan immediately lures female bibliophiles into her protagonist Alice Pearse's story, when Alice identifies herself as one of them by mentioning her reverence for beloved children's book series such as Pipi Longstockings and Nancy Drew. That love of books and reading stays paramount even as the middle of the narrative starts to sag. At the outset, Alice's husband learns he will not make partner at his Manhattan law firm, and her perfectly ordered life is upended. As a mother of three, a part-time magazine editor, and a book club organizer at her friend's indie bookstore, she realizes she will need a full-time job while her husband sets up a suburban law firm in New Jersey. Just then, a job working for a trendy company's new venture creating a national chain of e-book lounges that will also sell first editions comes her way. Alice's excitement turns to bewilderment, then disenchantment as the job of her dreams slowly becomes a nightmare while her father's cancer returns and her husband begins drinking. Though the author successfully skewers start-ups and corporate culture, Alice's disillusionment with her trendy employer is slow to play out, filling much of the space with repetitive plot developments.
Serious, sometimes funny about the emotions that face every working mom with kids. GREAT READ!
I truly liked this book a lot. It wasn't just about a mom trying to cope with a job and raising three kids. There were many other aspects going on in Alice's life. It made me tired just reading about her life after she went back to work full time. She had a lot of demands going on that only added to her frustration. Plus, the job she had was with a b/s company. They didn't even know what they wanted to do. A business plan Is something any new start up needs and this one was flying by the seat of its pants. Changing that plan almost weekly. I like how she bowed out gracefully and the little present she gave her boss. That was classic.
A lot of other emotions and problems are also going on in this book and I think the author did a great job as a whole. The characters were certainly well developed and mostly likable. This was a very enjoyable and entertaining read for me and I highly recommend it. It's great for women before a career, during a career and certainly after a career.
A huge thanks goes out to Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this very good book in exchange for an honest opinion.
Couldn't put it down
The main character, Alice, is fascinating and real. I related to how she learned through tough experiences. Hope to read another book from this author in the near future!
A Window Opens
I couldn't put this book down. The author captures all the little thoughts on paper that come and go in your own head, possibly feeling guilty that that's a no-no. Enjoyed it immensely!