7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2002
What's Happening To Home? Balancing Work, Life, And Refuge In The Information Age by veteran journalist Maggie Jackson is an effective, "reader friendly" guide for the twenty-first century, focusing as it does on the invasion of telecommunication, e-mail, and the onward march of information technology to deliver more work to one's home doorstep - as well as the increasing American trend to take just about everything short of the actual office home after the official workday has ended. What's Happening To Home? addresses very real contemporary concerns, concentrating on practical and effective guidelines to balance work and home life for a happier and healthier future. What's Happening To Home? is a fascinating, informative, highly recommended account that speaks to everyone caught up in the manifold pressures of the digital age.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2003
There's less here than meets the eye. Award-winning work-life journalist Maggie Jackson interviews numerous people about tensions between work and home, but we learn only that people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and that the trend is likely to continue. It's an entertaining read, but what's missing? Social context, for one: the ideal of a private home life valorized by Jackson is essentially the possession of the post-1850 suburban middle class. Rural and working-class families successfully combine home and work with fewer stumbles over the molehills that her painfully self-aware cell phone-toting interview subjects turn into mountains. What else is missing? Social context again: Jackson's nostalgia for housework (she doesn't so her own, she admits) ignores the history of housework as a means of limiting women's aspirations (well documented in numerous books), as well as research that indicates homemaking is a full-time job that few husbands fully share. The spiritually cherishing "home" for which Jackson's overstressed subjects yearn is most probably a social construct that matched the lived experience of few, if any, Americans. Teasing out the shape of the unattainable domestic ideal may be the most entertaining part of reading the book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2002
I really loved this book! It spoke to me at a deep level but had an ease about it that made it pure pleasure to read.
There is no book like it - it considers a totally fresh subject. The author shines very thoughtful light on the `essence' of home, considering the nuances of what has changed about it and what is vital to keep. She takes us on a journey - her own -- and we discover with her how important it is that we preserve the home - although a redefined version of it -- `as a place of anchor and refuge from the public and from work'. There is a clarity that comes from reading this book and a reassurance from the understanding it offers.
I found myself changing my own behavior in the midst of reading it and feeling a sense of relief somehow. I suspect that my life will remain enriched by what I took away from it.
The book will have wide appeal both by its style and its substance. It is a great book for individuals who are deliberate about the quality of their own lives, for social observers and for people just plain curious about the invisible forces that carry us along.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2004
Maggie Jackson has written an original and thought-provoking book brimming with insightful observations. In her extensive research she has both hunted down the extremes of combining work and home and acknowledged her own personal, more typical, odyssey. This is a book to pick up when your spouse is complaining about your Blackberry usage at 11 pm on Saturday night, and when your kids make those heart-rending comments about missing you when you're traveling. It helps put our crazy lives into perspective and provides ideas on what we can do to prevent work creep. Jackson seems a natural for this topic, having studied and written about this subject for many years. With a dearth of good books addressing work/family issues, this book is a winner.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2004
With the blurring of boundaries between home and the workplace, our lives have become increasingly stressful and disconnected. In an intelligent, refreshing change of pace from the simplistic how-to, Maggie Jackson guides us to re-evaluate the concept of home and come up with our own personal appreciation. In What's Happening to Home? The reader is given an historical overview, witty pop-culture observations along with easy-to-implement suggestions for moving forward as liberated women who enjoy creating a warm, nurturing environment. Instead of getting back to basics, move forward to the basics - with Maggie!