Synopses & Reviews
At 35, Izzy Rose is a successful, Emmy Award-winning television producer, pulling down a hefty salary in a fast-paced newsroom and living the good life of a “middle-class socialite” single gal in San Francisco. She’s fine with the fact that she doesn’t have kids, but now she’s fallen in love with a wonderful Southern man named Hank who comes with two of his own. When she goes to meet Hank’s family in Memphis, she’s not expecting that he’ll pop the question. Or that in a very short time, she’ll say "I do," becoming stepmother to Hank’s two adolescent sons and packing her bags for a new life in Texas. Izzy’s world, as she knew it, was turned upside down.
In The Package Deal, Izzy makes her way through the treacherous territory many career women must negotiate as she learns to be a wife and a mother to the “Young One, and the “Tall One” while holding onto some of her old identity. At once relatable and exquisite, brave and scared, Izzy chronicles how one woman reinvents the stepmother role in her sassy, stylish, but also loving and vulnerable image. The Package Deal is a toast to the richness of Izzy's life as she learns to roll with the punches with grace and humor and embrace her new life as wife, instant mother, and Texan.
At once relatable and exquisite, brave and scared, Rose chronicles how one woman reinvents the stepmother role in her sassy, stylish, but also loving and vulnerable image.
Meet Izzy Rose-a hilarious and chic new stepmom trying to come to terms with the package deal. A single “middle-class socialite” living in San Francisco, Izzy loved her career as a successful, Emmy Award-winning TV producer and she was fine with the fact that she was unmarried and kid-less at thirty-five. But, then she fell in love with an irresistible Southern man named Hank and her Izzy-centric lifestyle turned upside down.
In short order, Izzy finds herself saying I DO to becoming a wife and “instant mom” to Hanks two sons and packing her bags for a new life in Austin, Texas. There, Izzy struggles to hold on to a bit of her professional identity while reinventing the stepmother role in her sassy, stylish, but also loving and vulnerable way. Honest and daring, The Package Deal is a toast to the richness of her new life and a tribute to any woman whose ever fallen in love and then asked, What exactly did I get myself into?
About the Author
IZZY ROSE is an Emmy Award-winning TV producer and founder of StepmothersMilk.com.
Reading Group Guide
1. What aspects of your life now would be hardest to change or give up for love and marriage? What would you absolutely not sacrifice? What parts are negotiable?
2. Has The Package Deal challenged any notions you used to have about getting involved with a man who has kids? Would children and an ex-wife be automatic deal breakers?
3. Statistics tell us that there are over 15 million stepmothers in the country today, yet many of them feel isolated and alone. Why do you think this is? Like Izzy asks, “Why isnt stepparenting a mainstream discussion?”
4. Has this book changed your image of the modern stepmom? How does The Package Deal challenge what Izzy calls the “wicked lame” stepmother stereotype, and our romantic ideal of the “perfect guy?”
5. When it comes to girlfriends-how do women find their new BFF, particularly in a new and unfamiliar city?
6. Is it true that the mommy club is often closed to non-bio mothers? Why is this?
7. As the newest member of the traveling circus, Izzy struggled with how to fit into Hanks existing family. “Im not an extension cord. You cant just plug me into the family power strip.” How does a blended family successfully create the right mix and whose job is it to make sure everyone gets a place?
8. Just before the boys move to Austin, Izzy dreads the “impending threat of dirt” until she realizes her apprehension has less to do with boy grime and more to do with her deep fears. Discuss what yours might be if you were Izzy.
9. In your opinion, what is the proper etiquette in dealing with your boyfriend/ fiancé/ husbands ex-wife? How important is it to have a relationship with her and how close are you willing to get?
10. How do you think Izzys life would have been different had she been a co-parent with June in Texas? Discuss the differences between full-time and part-time and stepparenting.
11. Izzy used her own stepkid experiences to shape her stepmom role. How was Izzys perspective an advantage and a disadvantage in raising her two stepkids?
12. If you are also a stepchild, how did your experiences compare with Izzys?
13. When it comes to discipline, what is the role of the stepparent? And who makes this determination?
14. For Izzy, her stepkids were enough kids, but many “instant mothers” still want to have kids of their own someday. Discuss the dynamics of adding a new baby to the mix.
15. If you are a stepparent, how long was it before you said the L-Word to your stepkids? Do you think Izzys reluctance to “pour on Lamour” was justified?
16. Whats in a name? What do your stepkids call you? Was this your choice or theirs? How do you introduce each other?
17. Discuss Stepmom Rule Number Seventeen: No one gets it all. Do you agree that this is the reality for every stepfamily?
18. Do you have a Stepmom Rule of your own to add to the list?
While The Package Deal is one woman's adventure as a new stepmother, at its heart, it is a story about today's stepfamilies, modern-day marriage, negotiating family and career, the necessity of friendships, the constant search for identity and the many ways to make a home.