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The Comeback: Seven Stories of Women Who Went from Career to Family and Back Again Hardcover – September 2, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Keller immediately loses the objective third-party position of journalist, her previous career, to actively comment on her seven subjects’ lives in this collection of life stories so personal that readers wince with pain at the challenges and cheer with real glee for the successes. Although it’s not a new genre, this persona of participatory ego–reporter brings a candid yet gentle tone to the recaps of these women’s careers, marriages (with one divorce), and families. Not all hail from Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and they do not all enjoy 100 percent unfettered and nonpainful lives. Meet Lauren Jacobson, South African media lawyer who moved to England to escape fear of violence—and became a well-known charity’s managing director; or Maxine Snider, with a design career that morphed into ownership of a furniture manufacturer (much to the consternation of her retired-lawyer husband, until he found his second passion in photography). All talk about choices, balance, and trade-offs. --Barbara Jacobs

Review

For mothers contemplating a return to the work force after years spent raising children, Emma Gilbey Keller has good news: if the women she profiles in her new book can do it, so can you. ...[Keller] chats and charms her way through the book, interweaving detailed portraits of her subjects with sketches of larger issues including women's entrepreneurship; sexism in the fields of medicine, law and architecture; the benefits of joint custody to divorced mothers' work schedules; and the effect (or not) of changing gender roles on housework ... These accomplished women bring reassuring voices to our increasingly urgent national conversation about mothers and work... If Keller's Everywoman can finally effect lasting political and economic change, perhaps her daughters won't need to stage a career comeback: they won't have to leave in the first place. (New York Times Book Review)

Candid yet gentle tone...stories so personal that readers wince with pain at the challenges and cheer with real glee for the successes. (Booklist)

[A] must-have book...inspiring. (New York Daily News)

Warm, laudatory, refreshingly nonjudgmental--she honors both working and stay-at-home moms...relentlessly honest in depicting the low confidence that paralyzes women eager to rejoin the workplace. [Keller provides] insight into how women have rediscovered their professional identities through sheer perseverance. Women contemplating their own re-entries into their careers or into new professions will relish this book for its frankness, encouragement and practical direction. (Publishers Weekly)

There's much talk about the choice made by many women to leave the workforce when their children are small, but little has been written about the specific challenges of returning to work. By introducing us to seven women who made that journey, The Comeback shows seven paths to that goal. Each is unique, but together they begin to answer the questions: How does it feel? How is it done? Any woman who wants both children and career, or anyone who knows such a woman, will want to start by reading The Comeback. (Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don't Understand, Talking from 9 to 5 and You're Wearing THAT?)

At last a book that doesn't tell women that whatever we do, we're wrong. Emma Keller's warmth and wisdom infuse The Comeback, a sensible corrective to the no-win, media-stoked battles of the "Mommy Wars." Her stories of women's resilience, grit and triumph as they re-enter the workforce after years at home remind us that reinvention is truly possible; that, rather than constantly judging our lives, we should live them--fully and well. (Peggy Orenstein, author of Waiting for Daisy)

Insightful, engaging, and empowering, Emma Keller's THE COMEBACK is the "women and work" book you've been waiting for. (Liz Lange, President & Founder Liz Lange Maternity)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596912235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596912236
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,882,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emma Gilbey Keller is the author of The Lady: The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela. Previously she had written for The London Sunday Times, The London Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Marie Claire, More Magazine,and Vanity Fair among others. She grew up in England and lives in New York City with her husband Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, and their two children.
Emma is currently the editor of Your Comeback on doublex.com.
You can check her out there and on her own website www.thecomebackbook.com.
You can also follow her on twitter @emmagkeller

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By T. K. on October 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book shares some wonderful stories about women who took time off from the work force to take care of their children-and made it back. It is somewhat inspirational, but mostly just interesting biographies of vastly different proffessional women and their experiences.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teacher87 on September 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Awful. If you can even get past the first story you will read a book of unrealistic stories that are in no way relatable for most working women/mothers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R.H.P. on February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The following is a quote from the author's introduction to this book: "I..wanted to look at a range in age and geographical locations so that you didn't feel...that you were just reading about the women in my building." Unfortunately, that's exactly how I felt. It wasn't that each woman's story wasn't unique, but on some level they all read as "power women" who would have been successful in any situation they found themselves in, rather than everyday women attempting to build a career after a long absence. The womens' struggles didn't come through for me, and consequently none of the stories offered any meaningful encouragement or help. I was disappointed, thus the low rating.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Lit Chicks on July 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Comeback, is a timely piece on a topic that not a lot is specifically written about: women returning to the career world after taking time off to raise kids. It articulated why women often give up their career by default because of the time demands of their spouse's higher paying job. The stories of the six women who made their "comeback" were varied in what they did and how they came back and although there seemed to be more stories about high-powered women than regular every day parents, it was still encouraging to see that all parents go through the same issues. This is not a "how to" manual--but it is a book I recommend for women going through this stage of life just to inspire the creative process as they make their own comebacks. -Melanie Hamon, [...]
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The Comeback: Seven Stories of Women Who Went from Career to Family and Back Again
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