by Elisabeth Egan
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Just released: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardback: 384 pages
I drag my suitcase out from under the bed and start packing.
The Ramona books go in the elastic pocket intended for socks and underwear; the yellow-spined Nancy Drews go in neat towers on the luggage floor. Around these, I wedge Anastasia Krupnik, Pippi Longstocking, Emily of New Moon, Harriet the Spy, Betsy, Tacy and Tib, the All-of-a-Kind Family.
Fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It and Where’d You Go, Bernadette? will cheer at this “fresh, funny take on the age-old struggle to have it all” (People) about what happens when a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny—only to learn every opportunity comes at a price.
In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine Elisabeth Egan brings us 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, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. 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. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?
The story takes you into the chaotic life of Alice who goes from stay-at-home (part time worker) to full time worker. While she juggles the different aspects of her life, it slowly becomes clear to her that there is more to balancing everything.
I liked how the family and friends were portrayed as most of them were likable and supportive. As the story progresses the day to day activities and doings felt like a comfy read at times.
I also liked how the issues involving her father were handled. The feelings and thoughts on experiencing and dealing with parents with an illness were pretty spot on.
Loved that Alice's career was book-related and took us into some behind-the-scenes moments of being in the book business.
About the author:
* added to my COYER challenge/scavenger hunt (details)
* review copy courtesy of BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015 (details). @booksparks #SRC2015
Destination: Take a trip to Suburbia (New Jersey)
* part of my Armchair Summer Travel (details) - check it out to enter Armchair Summer Travel Book Box Giveaway which ends Aug 31