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Happy Housewives Hardcover – September 20, 2005
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About the Author
Darla Shine was a television producer who left the business to stay home with her children. She worked on several networks, including PBS and NewsTalk Television, one of the first twenty-four-hour cable news networks. Darla's podcast can be heard at www.darlashine.com. She lives with her husband and two children on Long Island, New York.
Top customer reviews
I have read a lot of self help books, and I have plenty of things I'd like to improve, my skills as a home manager being one of them. But, there are a lot of things I don't care for about this book, and reasons why it was maddeningly unhelpful.
First of all, in the first chapter, Shine tells her readers to stop complaining, and eliminate the ego. Now, this is good advice on its own. However, that advice is tempered by a superior tone to the book, tons of complaints about how hard it is to be a mom and a wife, and every other line is some sort of judgement against other women who don't live just like she does. In essence, she's pretty much fooled herself into thinking that she has "let go of her ego." If she actually had, then her "advice", which are just disguised judgements, would not be coming from such a combative place.
She has no compassion for people who are feeling out of control. Her advice is pretty much limited to "suck it up, sister" because it could always be worse. Yeah, it could be worse, but ignoring serious problems like a breakdown of communication between spouses, incompatibility, depression, etc doesn't do anyone any good.
Shine also has a very limited concept of sex, and advocates using sex to get money from your husband. Since when did manipulating your spouse become good behavior? As an addendum to that, I was personally disheartened to see that she also tells women that if a man wants something that's a social taboo, like BDSM, then she should ignore the issue with him, and complain to her girlfriends.
All in all, I found the book to be shallow, narrow, judgmental, and coming from a place of abject superiority. Sorry, Darla. But you're certainly not better than me because I choose to work in addition to wanting to care for my home.
That said, this is a great book ladies! It is so supportive, down to earth, funny, and instead of being PC, its honest! How's that for a change. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking one of three things: "I really do need to do this", "Thank you" or most often, "It is about time someone came out and said these things in the public sphere". Alot of SAHM books that I have read have been boring, or really not very supportive at all. Everyone is scared to come off as unprogressive or politically incorrect so they side step giving any real support. God forbid we tell SAHMs that they are doing a great thing and that their families will benefit tremendously. God forbid we actually say that being a SAHM is just as hard and just as valid as being a working mother.
If you are a SAHM, even if your not desperate (I wasn't), buy it anyway. Hey, if nothing else, buy it for the kudos, you deserve them.
I gave such a high rating because her candor was refreshing and inspiring when discussing how we women need to get our acts together. Discussing our attitudes as the biggest deterrent to becoming happy housewives was much needed for me and very wise counsel.
I did not give five stars because I don't buy into the organic food movement, though cooking all food at home I find very important. I also disagreed with some of the celebrities she endorsed as I see them as part of the problem with our culture and not the solution.