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The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage Paperback – September 16, 2003
"Missional Motherhood" by Gloria Furman
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Not entirely angry, it is ultimately a satisfying read. There are no intended messages on how women can improve their relationships with their husbands, partners, and children. That is the beauty of the book. They have instead revealed modern motherhood, and solitude, as it is, and may have been all along. --Karin Rosman --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't be put off by the title -- or by the common misrepresentation (like by Katie Couric on the Today Show) that it's the whining of women who seemingly "have it all." The point is, you CAN'T have it all, and have to try to forge happiness anyway. Crack it open and you won't put it down.
My favorites include "Atilla the Honey I'm Home" about a woman who is ultra cool and competent at work and then comes home and takes out all her stress on her family. "How We Became Strangers" about the effect the arrival of a first child has on marital bliss. And "Crossing the Line in the Sand" about losing your temper with your kids.
The book is organized in rough age order of the contributors, so it starts with women in their twenties just on the cusp of What The Future Holds, and ends with a few in their (60s?) about the roads taken and not. In between you have a wide range of experiences -- fidelity and not, equal parenting and not, successful relationships and not, getting married or not, feeling good about work or not.
These aren't easy issues and the book confronts them head-on. The essayists don't provide solutions so much as comfort -- a community of like-minded souls who realize what we're all up against and are trying to make sense of it all.
Obviously, I didn't relate to all of these women -- some I thought were a bit triffling and way too self-absorbed.
But reading some of these stories was like reading my own journal, but more eloquently put, especially "Excuse me while I explode", and "How we became strangers".
I was comforted to know that I'm not alone in my daily struggles to be a good Mom, wife, friend, daughter and co-worker. Just that fact alone helps me to exhale and be grateful for all of my plessings.
Also, I hate to say it, but a lot of these women come across as whiny. I know, I know. I'll get kicked out of the feminist club for saying it (and trust me, I've paid my dues), but there's a lot of delusion among these women. They seem to expect the men in their lives to behave...well...like women. And that just isn't realistic. There's also a lot of justifying of what in my opinion is questionable behavior. Personally, I found the essay by the woman who had a married man's baby really frustrating. Not because she kept the baby and went on with her life, but because she seemed to have no guilt or remorse about sleeping with a married man. It's as if the man's wife doesn't exist at all to her -- she's written off in one sentence (did she ever even find out her husband fathered another woman's child?).
There are some terrific pieces in here, and the writing is very strong, but overall it was a depressing disappointment.
Another failing was that all the women are fairly young with very young children. I wanted to see the same reflection from the perspective of older women whose children are grown and establishing their own lives. I daresay the stories would be quite a bit different when the authors are not so immersed in the experiences about which they are writing.
If I had read this book while still single, I would have found the stories of women feeling so trapped in expectations quite depressing.