Synopses & Reviews
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.
"This self-conscious, idea-driven novel is read well by Alyssa Bresnahan, but she doesn't clearly distinguish each mother struggling for identity and purpose in today's confusing 'post-feminist' middle class. Speaker identity comes not from the reader but from 'Amy said' or 'Jill said.' There is plenty of irony note the title but Bresnahan's ironic tone sometimes leads us to dismiss characters' experiences and feelings. This is not entirely her fault as the main players are somewhat stereotyped: lawyer quits work to care for baby (now aged 10); husband struggles to keep family afloat; grandmother remains feminist warrior; Chinese mother wastes her mathematical genius. But Bresnahan does enliven Wolitzer's recap of modern women's conundrums, so despite limitations, this audio will surely kindle controversy on blogs and at book clubs, kitchen, school and office confabs. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 24). (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From the bestselling author of "The Wife" and "The Position" comes a feverishly smart novel about female ambition, money, class, motherhood, and marriage--and what happens in one community when a group of educated women chooses not to work. Unabridged. 9 CDs.