Any woman who yearns for a break from the demands of home and family to nurture her soul--but thinks she "couldn't possibly"--will discover a healthy new perspective on her not-so-radical desire in this enlightening book. The key is in the book's subtitle, The Journey That Brings You Home
. With six simple words, Cheryl Jarvis illuminates her driving message: "A woman who takes time away to rejuvenate, to grow, is in the end bringing that back to the marriage and her family."
Drawing from interviews with 55 women who experienced sabbaticals of various lengths and purposes, Jarvis relates the inspiring stories of those who endured criticism (often from surprising sources like closest friends) to pursue their long-nurtured dreams. True to her journalistic background, Jarvis supports each key point with exhaustive research. Chapters with simple titles such as "Motivations," "Fears," and "Husbands" gracefully justify the need for women to undertake private journeys and are ripe with examples from history, mythology, fiction, nonfiction, religion--the works. (Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton all spent months at a time away from their husbands.) But the backbone of Jarvis's book is the personal tale she relates throughout its 300 pages. It's the story of a starry-eyed bride who--like many young women--nearly loses herself (quite willingly) in her mate's professional goals and recreational pastimes, cuts corners in her own successful writing career to raise kids (again, willingly), and then realizes that her family ties are strangling the life out of her. The result: a three-month stint at various writers' colonies, a fresh outlook on life, and a fantastic first book from an insightful--and much more confident--soul. --Liane Thomas
From Publishers Weekly
Restless scholars, doctors and artists have long viewed the sabbatical as a positive and even necessary opportunity for rest and renewal. Even the Bible prescribes rest every seventh day and letting the ground lie fallow every seventh year. But what's a wife to do when she gets the seven-year itch? In this fresh and inspiring book, freelance journalist Jarvis provides a comprehensive, thoughtful and inspiring look at how married women can love and care for their families and still find a concentrated period of time to invest in realizing their dreams. Having long deferred her desire for a solo adventure, Jarvis pursued her writing in two writers' colonies and on a secluded Montana ranch over a three month period. In the years since, she interviewed married women who took "solo journeys" to further their education, join the Peace Corps, drive across the country, immerse themselves in another language and culture or work creatively, free from the demands of caring for their husband or families. One woman even spent six months alone in the south of France reading 100 recommended books. Emphasizing that these women carefully planned their leave taking, preparing their homes and families and setting clear goals and return dates for themselves, Jarvis clarifies the differences between sabbaticals and vacations or trial separations. In a practical and thoughtful tone, she also reviews the cultural, logistical and psychological obstacles that keep married women from arranging sabbaticals, offering suggestions on how to handle them. Although none of the women here left while their children were young, the author asserts that "there is no good time for a woman to go," and once the desire takes hold in her mind, she can find ways to overcome all obstructions. Agent, Lisa Bankoff, ICM. (Jan. 7) Forecast: Graced with an appealing jacket image of a woman in joyful mid-leapDand supported by a 50,000-copy first printing, eight-city author tour, 20-market radio tour and first serial in RedbookDthis original and refreshing book should reach its publisher's sales target and a enjoy a long paperback life. (See q&a, p. 76.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.