Title: A Window Opens
Author: Elisabeth Egan
Date finished: 8/26/15
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
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?
My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for ARC August reading challenge, it is #11 on list from my sign up post. I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Alice Pearse and her family: her husband, Nicholas, and her children, Margot, Oliver, and Georgie. Alice is a book-lover so I felt an instant connection with her character. I am not a mom yet but I hope to someday be one and a lot of the issues presented in this book are ones I have thought about many times already. When Nick leaves the law firm he’s been working at pretty much his whole career to open his own firm, Alice and Nick decide that Alice should go back to work full time until Nick’s new firm is up and running. Alice finds a job at Scroll, a company that is supposed to lead us into the book stores of the future. Unfortunately, not everything always works out the way we’d imagined at the start.
Alice’s job is time consuming and sometimes (like many jobs, mine included) it runs over into her personal time. And unfortunately (as is the case with many stressful jobs) her time with her family sometimes suffers because of her dedication to her job. I have to say this issue is one of the things that really bothered me about this book. Nick ends up with an attitude through most of the book about Alice’s dedication to her job. When he was working hard at his law firm and she was taking care of the kids, he was a dedicated worker. But when the roles are reversed Nick says that Alice is “obsessed” with her job. Just because she wants to do good work and she’s dedicated why does that make her obsessed? Also why is this a good excuse for Nick to get so drunk he ends up passing out on the couch every weekday afternoon? Alice had to take care of the kids mostly on her own for like ten years and she never had to get drunk every day. And then he has the nerve to ask her if she is the person she wants to be when he was the one who was too drunk at noon to answer the phone and pick up their sick daughter from school? Are you kidding me? So anyway suffice it to say I was not a huge fan of Nick’s character. I wanted to punch him in the face most of the time but Alice seemed to like him overall so I guess he can’t be all bad.
Overall I really liked this book. I am going to warn you there are a couple sad parts but I think those might have been the parts of the story I found the most touching. Obviously I also felt quite a bit of anger for some of the book but there was a lot of tenderness described in the story. Also a lot of the issues Alice faces through the story are ones that I will have to face sometime in the future. Alice is right, you can’t do it all. Sometimes you have to prioritize and those priorities don’t always have to be fixed, actually they shouldn’t be. Your job shouldn’t come first every day but there are days where you might need to put it first and I think that’s ok.
The bottom line: There were just so many feels. And the main character was highly relatable for me so this one really was a good one for me. I would definitely recommend.