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


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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: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

"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

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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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I think it's an important book for a wider audience though.
Michelle Scott
I assume this book is helpful if you lead a fabulous Manhattan life like these women, but all it did for me is point out what is lacking.
Christeamarie
I'm married with two children but couldn't put this book down (In fact if I didn't have kids, I'd probably have read it one sitting!).
Carrie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sophia A. Nelson 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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24 of 27 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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18 of 20 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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21 of 24 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jill Eden Strauzer on April 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have been awaiting the arrival of Otherhood for some time now. Finally a memoir so honest, so truthful and written before the "happy ending" and peaceful resolution. So brave!!

Following Savvy Auntie for years, the articles, editorials and interviews that led to the writing of Otherhood gave me a new outlook on life in general and my personal value. Otherhood, an amazing journey through the life of Melanie Notkin who has put the depth of her person on the line, her wisdom to the task of understanding the epidemic of strong wonderful women struggling to find love and for many motherhood and made her own life in some ways an experiment for the rest of us. She's a hero to me and to many.

Otherhood resonates with me and my journey so far, to 38.5 single, without children of my own but with many children in my life to adore and share with the friends I love dearly. It resonated with every date I've been on where I was so interchangeable I'd been called by another's name, or in a standoff with an iphone or smiled endlessly listening to a man so in love with himself there would never be room for me nor could I compete with his admiration for himself. It made me think of the women and girls who make my life go round and how we love and support each other and dance with elation when one of us does finally find love! Yet Melanie's journey and mine through her filter though quite painful in many ways, still left me feeling comfortable with the woman that I am, allowed to have the dreams I have and feeling that my personal and spiritual journey were authentic and worthy of real fulfilling and meaningful love and partnership somewhere in my future. That is not an easy task without the canned happy ending...
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Emorlee 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Cheek on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I started reading Otherhood I immediatly thought that conversations I had with friends had been recorded. This book voices every thought I have had about the state of being still single at almost forty and childless. I too wanted the loving marriage, the children, and the career. But just as anything else, life had other ideas. It is wonderful to know that I am not the only one who worries about being alone forever. One review stated it was anti feminist. It is not anti feminist to not settle for second best. Feminism taught a generation of women to not be limited because of their gender. We are the product of those teachings. We do want it all but unfortunatly some of us have not been fortunate to get it all. This is a very thought provoking book. If you are like me in your mid to late thirties or older you may be able to relate.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Carrie on March 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'm married with two children but couldn't put this book down (In fact if I didn't have kids, I'd probably have read it one sitting!). There is something magnetic about reading someone's personal truth and I loved the tour of Melanie's world, even though it is clearly sometimes heartbreaking. I think every woman will take something from this book, although it's probably the men who should be reading it!
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