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
Date: March 27, 2008
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