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Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness Hardcover – February 25, 2014

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Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness + Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Women without children have long confronted disapproval subtle and outright. Whether by choice or circumstance, the inability to accomplish this seemingly most natural of conditions is often neither the default nor desired setting for many women. With statistics now showing that nearly half of all women of child-bearing age are childless, the dearth of informed insight and compassionate support for women in this emotional limbo leaves a huge percentage of the population feeling paradoxically both invisible and conspicuous. Author of the best-seller, Savvy Auntie (2011), and founder of the Savvy Auntie brand that celebrates the numerous contributions of nonmothers to the children in their lives, Notkin explores the complex ramifications of being a childless modern woman. If, as the old rhyme predicts, first comes love, then comes marriage, Notkin sagely examines the rocky road a woman wanders on the way to filling (or not) the next-in-sequence baby carriage. Although childlessness is the book’s clear focus, Notkin’s spot-on appraisal of the pitfalls of the current dating scene provides equally valuable insights for any woman struggling to accept the sobering realities of contemporary romance or reproduction. --Carol Haggas

Review

"A fun, sexy examination of why more women are remaining childless longer and what that means for their lives and society." - Kirkus Review

"Life doesn’t always unfold the way we expect. In this thought-provoking, honest, and often hilarious exploration of 'otherhood,' Melanie Notkin describes the pleasures and pain of coming to grips with the life she actually has—a childfull life, without children of her own. An essential read for anyone interested in what it’s like to be a woman today."
Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of Happier at Home and The Happiness Project

“In Otherhood, Melanie Notkin gives a fresh voice to a largely unseen, misunderstood part of the population: the unmarried, childless female. After you read this book, you’ll discover she isn’t who you thought she was.”
Stacy London, Style Expert

“In a poignant reported memoir, Otherhood gives voice to a growing, but often hidden segment of society: women who are still waiting for love, marriage and children. With honest humor, Notkin gives the beautiful, bright, talented, single women something no one else does: hope.”
Amy Klein, New York Times Motherlode “Fertility Diary” columnist

“Families aren’t what they used to be, but here Melanie Notkin shows that they’ve recombined, not fallen apart. Otherhood is powerful, not only because it charts an important role for modern women in an age of singles and solos, but also because it’s sharp, witty, and insightful. A terrific read.”
Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

“Melanie Notkin has tapped into the deep need we all have for a new language of love. Otherhood is the perfect book for these times—honest, romping, vulnerable, uplifting. Read it now, because everyone will be talking about it soon.”
Bruce Feiler, New York Times columnist and bestselling author of The Secrets of Happy Families

“Heartbreaking, insightful and ultimately affirming, Otherhood is Notkin’s anguished but undefeated post-feminist battle cry on behalf of childless women of a certain age who refuse to settle for a lesser love.”
Jonathan Tropper, bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You

“In Otherhood, Melanie Notkin brilliantly reveals feminism’s dirty little secret: the most fabulous women today are not finding love, marriage, or the baby carriage. They are creating—in a way The Feminine Mystique did not predict—a new, equally extraordinary kind of happiness.”
Karen Lehrman Bloch, author of The Lipstick Proviso: Women, Sex & Power in the Real World

“In Otherhood, Melanie Notkin, takes the reader on an intimate and insightful journey of what it’s like to be single, never married and childless when apparently no one thinks you should be. She courageously invites us into her intimate world, experiences, and feelings, in a way most close friends wouldn’t even do. And in doing so, she beautifully highlights the importance of being authentic and true to yourself, even if your dreams and wishes don’t come on cue.”
Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and TV commentator

“Melanie Notkin’s Otherhood is empowering and enlightening for a generation of modern women who don’t want to settle in order to settle down. This book will resonate not only with single women but also with those who love them.”
Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing) and Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband)

"Otherhood is a timely book offering up valuable guidance on how to feel appreciated and supported while being self-reliant. Melanie Notkin’s genuine love for her reader shines through each page. Notkin is a powerful leader for all women as they enter into 'otherhood.'"
Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times bestselling author of May Cause Miracles

"Any woman who has ever felt bad about not being 'on track' will find hope and inspiration in Notkin’s readable, compelling book. The experience is like chatting with an old college friend who hands you a mug of tea and kindly reminds you to stop bitching already and get busy creating and celebrating an authentic awesome life."
Sarah Elizabeth Richards, author of Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580055214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580055215
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melanie Notkin is the national best-selling author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids and the founder and personality behind Savvy Auntie, the beloved lifestyle brand celebrating modern aunthood. In 2009, she established Auntie's Day, the first annual day to honor aunts and godmothers. Notkin is the foremost expert on the emerging demographic of childless, often single, women in North America. She has shared her research, writing, and popular voice as a contributor to The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and PsychologyToday.com, among others, and she appears regularly on national television, radio, and the web. Otherhood, her second book, was inspired by her life in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amy on February 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read "Otherhood" over a weekend, once I started I could not put it down!!! It was so refreshing, motivating and validating to know I am not the only woman to be part of this demographic. So many parts of this book echoed my own life. If Melanie Notkin had been in the room when I read the last page, I would have said "THANK YOU for writing this" over and over!
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By IdaWriter on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is in a word: needed. Mel Notkin gives voice to what so many women like her (over 40+) and childfree cannot. It's one thing to not choose marriage & kids, it is another to end up there by life, challenges, circumstance, or career. Thank you for a great book all GENX and GENY women should read. If you are a married woman, read this book to better understand your friends who are not.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Karen E. Kipp on March 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book. I found the promotional reviews to be somewhat misleading. The basic context for the writer’s stories, experiences, and friends - is Manhattan - not exactly a universal cross section of people and culture. The first two thirds of the book are largely made up of endless conversations taken from her life and friends about the dating scene. This part of the book could have been entitled “Looking For Love in Manhattan.” I believe it might have served her better to condense all of this and simply share her conclusions of the dating challenges in more depth.

Although I sympathize with her experience of coming up against all of the sharp edges of “The Motherhood Entity” (which is a universal and predominant reality in our culture), I believe it obscured her subject by focusing on only single or never married women, like herself. Although her distinct group of women deserves attention, there are so many women struggling under the same pressure to be mothers from many different perspectives. By examining all of these as a group, she might have discovered central themes and commonalities which might have strengthened her subject.

Notkin shares that she is a successful, intelligent, and well-balanced professional woman who has a full and rich life, however, we never get to experience any of this in her book. Most of the writing about her experience seems rather obsessive around the same elements over and over again - of not finding love and having someone to have children with. Even when she appears to find some resolution, the focus returns again to these same dynamics.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth King on February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm 35, successful, fun and funny-as-hell... and single and childless. This is the perfect trifecta of research, having cocktails with Ms. Notkin, and reading my personal journal. In fact, I may just stop journaling because this book has it packaged perfectly. Read this book--and somebody send me flowers.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dave Kerpen on March 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a woman and I do have kids of my own. But I know so many women who are, in fact, modern women. I know so many women who can and do give so much to the world, without becoming moms. This book is perfect for them, and for any woman struggling to find their path in life. Two likeable thumbs up from me.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Emily on February 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a wonderful book - I couldn't put it down. It recognizes and validates my thoughts and feelings that are so often put aside. I am childless by circumstances and so being a PANK (Professional Aunt No Kids) to soon-to-be 29 nieces & nephews (three to be born in the next two months) is an incredibly important part of my life. Author Melanie Notkin speaks for and promotes the powerful PANK demographic, and 'Otherhood' is a wonderful addition to this!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly T on March 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'The Otherhood' could have been penned by my own words. As I read this book, my jaw dropped continuously at the similarities that Melanie and her friends have dealt with as single women and/or not having children. I couldn't put the book down. I was drawn in by her revelations of the realities that women deal with when dating and looking for love. I fully agree in that I want the entire package, as well. I want a family...a husband and wife that cherish one another and raise a child together. I will not settle. I commend single mothers yet it not the life that I choose. I love Melanie's perspective on life knowing she is surrounded by friends, family and loved ones. My life has been tremendously enhanced by the children in my life, specifically my niece and nephew. As I read this book, I felt liberated knowing that I am not alone. To all of us struggling with this generational conundrum, let's continue to press on to live our best lives now! I feel empowered knowing that there is a group of women who share my heart's cry and thankful that our voices can finally be heard.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Deanna Kotch on March 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Melanie, thank you. Your book was not only a pleasure to read but gave me peace of mind knowing that as a 42 year old single professional that the doubt, fear and thoughts that I'm not where I should be in life are not uncommon and I'm not alone. Despite a wonderful professional career, great friends, family and tons of special interests like you I questioned if choices I made in the past derailed my path to motherhood. Your book connects a large group of women together in a way no one has done before. Thank you for giving us reassurance and faith that we are all leading the lives we are meant to be. As the self proclaimed number one aunt, it's a reminder just how special my relationships are with my niece and nephew. Thank you again and best of luck with all your professional and personal initiatives.
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