Review: The Ten Year Nap

The Ten Year Nap, by Meg Wolitzer





In her novel The Ten Year Nap, author Meg Wolitzer examines the lives of a handful of women living in New York who left promising careers to be full time mothers. Self-doubt and regret permeate their lives as they find their children half-grown and their own potential in limbo.

A Reader's Respite really should have loved this novel. Everyone else did....from Publisher's Weekly to the Washington Post, rave reviews abound for Wolitzer's sharp insights and contemporary sharp wit.

The subject matter alone should have grabbed us. A Reader's Respite grappled with this very dilemma after the arrival of Big Kid in 2006. We wanted more than anything to be a full time mom, but commercial airlines aren't too forgiving of moms who want to take ten years off. We worked darned hard to earn our Captain's stripes and didn't want to give those up, either.

So we should have loved this book.....right?

You have probably guessed what happened. We didn't love the book. What other reviewers praised as insightful, we read as whiny. Yes, you read that correctly: whiny.

As we were reading the character's agonizing lamentations over choices they had made, we couldn't help but think, "There are tragedies in this world and this is just not one of them." Really. There are wars being waged, famines, natural disasters striking. So women worried that other women might be judging their career decisions just isn't ranking up there for us.

Petty of us? Probably. The subject matter is probably still worthy, it's just the whiny-ness we could do without.




Now remember: as my grandma used to say, there's a butt for every saddle. Just because A Reader's Respite didn't love this book doesn't mean you won't.

So if you want to give it a shot, leave us a comment and we'll draw a random winner on June 8th (international peeps welcome!). Please, enter! Then you can come back here and tell A Reader's Respite that we wouldn't know good literature if it bit us in the ass. We're okay with that.



Title: The Ten Year Nap
Author: Meg Wolitzer
ISBN-10: 1594489785
351 pages
Publisher: Riverhead
Date: March 27, 2008


For pete's sake, don't take our word for it! Read some more reviews!

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38 comments:

  1. Don't enter me - I just had to comment that I now completely understand your tweets about writing this review. I gave up on this one - didn't even finish it. :)

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  2. oh gosh, I really was afraid it was just me. I even considered re-reading it at a different time. Sometimes it's just my frame of mind when I pick up a book. This one has gotten such rave reviews!

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  3. I really liked Meg Wolitzer's first novel Sleepwalking (published in the early 1980s) but ever since then, I've been underwhelmed.

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  4. I have issues with my memory, but I know I read a review on this book not long ago, and it mirrored your own feelings. It is a good premise...many many women are in this same boat or at least thought about being in the same boat, and common ground should be found. For this reason I would have snapped up this book, but I didn't because of the pretty scathing review I read. As for the good reviews, sometimes I think reviewers are so in love with the premise they can't separate it from the actual execution of the story.

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  5. You aren't alone in your thoughts. While I really thought this book was interesting, a few in our book club didn't like it at all. We all agreed that they were whiny. I just thought their feelings gave the reader a lot to think about.

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  6. Don't enter me, I'm afraid my butt looks like yours. So to speak. I hate whiny books.

    One reason I love Library Thing so much is that even though there are a zillion people who claim to love a book (it must be true, the blurbs say so, right?) you can always count on a bevy of curmudgeons in LT to feel the same surly way you do about a book. Just last night I checked the reviews for Testimony to feel more validated. Love feeling validated! (cuts down on whining)

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  7. I just know I would be in your camp on this. So don't enter me in the giveaway.

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  8. I appreciate your candid review.

    I have read several of the "sing its praises" reviews and for that reason alone I would love to be entered in your contest. Being on the other side of the fence now (my youngest just finished sophomore year in high school), I may very well have the same opinion as you.

    Mstermind1 at gmail dot com

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  9. Hi Michelle (don't enter me). I just wanted to comment on the title...when you have a baby and take time off work to raise your child, how on earth can you call that any sort of 'nap' at all? I know this to be the time in life when you're the most active of all- you never nap!!!

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  10. I would love to be entered into this contest. I have been wanting to read this book for quite awhile.

    Thanks for the chance.

    sharon54220@gmail.com

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  11. I see you got your wit from your Grandma. Sorry the book didn't work for you.

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  12. Whiny definitely doesn't sound good. I really agree, what others think of our career choices really is no big deal.

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  13. What a great blog you have. (I did not enjoy Ten Year Nap either ).

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  14. Love when you tell it like it is :}.

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  15. This book sounds great! Enter me please!

    lovinfitch@aol.com

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  16. No need to enter me. Other reviewers that I trust haven't liked this one either.

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  17. I just loved your review - to the point and honest. Please enter me in the contest, because I would like to make up my own mind as I haven't read any other reviews.

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  18. Thanks for you honesty!! The idea behind the books totally appeals to me ... but it would be better to win than to buy I think so please enter me!

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  19. Meh, I tend to think Wolitzer is whiny in general after some disparaging remarks she made about chick lit that sounded more like bitterness than insight. I have The Position around here to read and would like to try this one, even if it turns out that Wolitzer really is one of my least favorite authors. :D

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  20. Please count me in - i'm a corporate lawyer and have been on my own for a year now and hoping to start a family. am wondering whether i'll share your reaction to the book, but i'm curious and would love to give it a try!

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

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  21. Lol. "A butt for every saddle?" I'm going to have to use that! Sorry you didn't enjoy it but please don't enter me.

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  22. Your review kinda scares me about this book. I like the premise, but if it's as whiny as you say it is...

    ~ Popin

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  23. Sounds exciting, please count me
    in for this contest.

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  24. Great review, and no, I don't want it.

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  25. Enter me pretty please!

    heatheranne99 at hotmail dot com

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  26. I want to give it a shot. Who knows my butt my be just the ride size for this saddle. It has to fit some where it can't seem to find any jeans that suit it well ;)

    ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

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  27. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance

    jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

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  28. I've enjoyed several of Wolitzer's books in the past (The Position and another one too) so i think I would enjoy this one too.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. although i'm a small time girl i love to laugh at bigcity whining so go ahead and enter me
    pksanddancer(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  30. This book seems to stir up debate. Then, I would like to read it myself to see if I like it. Please count me in. : )

    linna.hsu (at) gmail (dot) com

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  31. I'd like to read this book.

    aikychien@yahoo.com

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  32. I would like to read this book to see what the fuss is all about. sharonaquilino(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  33. I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

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  34. I read and reviewed this novel, as well. It wasn't my favorite.

    Sheri
    A Novel Menagerie

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  35. Okay so after reading the review and comments I want to read it even more because I want to see if I agree/disagree with the consensus of this group. Lemme have a turn at it and I will tell you how I feel...

    madamerkf at aol dot com

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  36. Please enter me in your giveaway=)
    Thank You,
    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

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  37. This book was a choice for a book club. Seven of us, and I'm the only one without children. I went into it with an open mind, esp since I did research on the subject of raising children within our re-defined culture a while back. I like to read a good novel at the same time. I'm half-way thru and the focus on the children is minimal, it seems to be a development of the Mom characters that loses focus. I'm hoping for a climax, social redemption or at least an underlying hidden meaning. Perhaps there is an awakening. Will report back.

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