- Hardcover: 351 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (March 27, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594489785
- ISBN-13: 978-1594489785
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 161 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,273,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ten-Year Nap
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From Publishers Weekly
In her latest novel, Wolitzer (The Wife; etc.) takes a close look at the opt out generation: her cast of primary characters have all abandoned promising careers (in art, law and academia) in favor of full-time motherhood. When their children were babies, that decision was defensible to themselves and others; 10 years on, all of these women, whose interconnected stories merge during their regular breakfasts at a Manhattan restaurant, harbor hidden doubts. Do their mundane daily routines and ever-more tenuous connections to increasingly independent children compensate for all that lost promise? Wolitzer centers her narrative on comparisons between her smart but bored modern-day New York and suburban mommies and the women of the generation preceding them, who fought for women's liberation and equality. Contemporary chapters, most of which focus on a single character in this small circle of friends, alternate with vignettes from earlier eras, placing her characters' crises in the context of the women, famous and anonymous, who came before. Wolitzer's novel offers a hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, vision of women's (and men's) capacity for reinvention and the discovery of new purpose. (Mar.)
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"A rollicking, perfectly pitched triumph."
"A complex, compelling portrait of a marriage that raises painful issues, even as it has you howling with recognition." -- Allison Pearson --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
I'm not sure this is a book everyone will be able to relate to. Most of the characters were upper middle class, and although there were a few who were not, they were very minor characters, although their point of view did add to the book. There was very little from the male perspective, although there was a part written from the point of view of Amy's father that was very enlightening and made me understand her a bit more (she was like her dad in some ways).
I do think that this book sheds some light on the so called "mommy wars". Although her characters sometimes are unkind and judge each other, by dealing with her characters in a mostly kind and non-judgemental way and by presenting each person as a unique individual Wolitzer does take a stand. We should deal with each other in a kind and non-judgemental and individual way.
I still dislike the title, although perhaps it is meant to be ironic. Although sometimes it seems as if staying home to raise one's kids is like taking a nap from the real world, it really isn't. Caring for children is meaningful work. And speaking for myself, I have developed skills and expertise in a variety of areas (child and non-child related) during the time I've been a stay-at-home mom. I would have liked to have seen some of the characters have interests and hobbies that they'd developed over the years. Work and child-raising aren't the only things in life and a person who has a career for a decade who has not developed in any area besides work would have a "10 year nap" too, I would think!