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A Window Opens: A Novel Paperback – July 5, 2016
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"Elisabeth Egan’s wry, up-to-the-minute social comedy perfectly captures the harried life of a working mother who is, by necessity, on call 24/7 in every sphere. Filled with humor and heartbreak, this acutely observed debut is compulsively readable."
—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
“Elisabeth Egan has not only written a relatable, empathic story about woman at a personal and professional crossroads. She has turned a sharp and satirical eye to both the self-important, neologism-choked jargon of the corporate world and the claustrophobic self-satisfactions that are often endemic to suburban life. The result is a buoyant, engaging novel that manages the rather remarkable feat of taking no sides even as it takes no prisoners. A delightful and impressive debut.” —Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion
"An instant classic. Egan manages to be wise, honest, poignant and laugh out loud funny about marriage, motherhood, daughterhood, and that ever elusive concept: having it all. If you're a fan of characters like Bridget Jones and I Don't Know How She Does It's Kate Reddy, prepare to fall madly in love with Alice Pearse."
—J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times Bestselling Author of Maine
"I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this funny, touching, true-to-life novel about dealing with the complexities of family and career–a delightful read!" —Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies
“Egan's voice is knowing and funny, and she has a great eye for the minutiae of the modern working mother's life… Egan, herself the books editor at Glamour, packs an incredible amount of humor, observation, and insight into her buoyant debut novel, a sort-of The Way We Live Now for 21st-century moms who grew up loving the bookish heroines of Anne of Green Gables and Betsy-Tacy. Women may not be able to have it all, but this novel can.”
—Kirkus, starred review
“A winning, heartfelt debut.”
“Alice’s struggles are relatable and heartrending...fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It (2002) and Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2012) will adore A Window Opens.”
—Booklist, starred review
"... a fun, breezy read... a heartfelt and sometimes funny look at all sorts of change: From marriage, to loss, to parenting, to the future of media."
“A smart, relatable story about a working mother who is trying to have it all, all at the same time. You'll laugh, you'll shake your head in recognition, and you'll want to grab your entire family for a hug. A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan pulls at your heart and leaves you thinking about it long after finishing the book.”
“Alice Pearse, a mother of three who takes on the breadwinner role after her husband doesn’t make partner at his law firm, shows us just how real, and how interesting, it is to be a working mom.”
About the Author
Elisabeth Egan is the books editor at Glamour. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in Self, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, People, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, the Huffington Post, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Washington Post, the Chicago Sun-Times and The Newark Star-Ledger. She lives in New Jersey with her family.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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The book follows the story of a woman in her mid-30s and her family. She had had a part-time job that she loved, until her husband lost his job, and they decided she should return to work full time. The story was full of all of the clichés about women who work and have children; missing the children, trying to do it all, guilt, dissatisfaction with work, etc.
Although all of that was a bit annoying, I think my biggest problem was that there was almost no character development. The story could've been very interesting characters have been more developed. Although Ireally did not like the main character (talk about self-righteous and privileged), I would've liked to seen more character development of her, as well as the other characters. For example, Genevieve, her supervisor could've been a very complex and interesting character. Same thing about Nicholas, her husband. Instead with such little character development we were left to try to understand why a giving person would act in such away. It is frustrating.
If friend of mine also read the book, as she was reading she thought it seem so familiar, so she looks the author up on Google. It turns out that the author lived in the town my friend grew up then, she said that nothing about the town, even the bookstore was from the imagination of the author, but with lift her directly. The story seems more like a rather shallow autobiography and a fiction.
Please write more books! I've stayed up several nights way past my bedtime finishing this one, and I'm hungry for more. This book resonated so much with me on so many levels. You've nailed it when it comes to messy lives, parenthood, the precarious juggle of work and family, and the ups and downs of marital relationships. The world of Scroll is so imaginative and creative and totally realistic; it seems like a concept that could actually exist. I loved that there were laugh-out-loud parts, and parts that made me weep, sometimes within only a page or two of each other. And while I often find books about book lovers and bookstores pretentious and precious, somehow you managed to avoid this - possibly because my tastes in books are so similar to Alice's. By the way, I'd choose a first edition of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets or The Waste Land.
An Eager Reader
This is the story of Alice who, when her husband's career circumstances necessitates her getting a full time job, takes a position with a start of tech company for a project call Scroll. In a wildly improbable scenario, Scroll is going to set up "bookstores" where people can go and sit in comfortable chairs and read the latest e-books. This makes no sense to me. People get e-books for the convenience to being able to read anywhere.
Now, Alice's best friend owns a bookstore where Alice helps out sometime. The use of the Scroll project seems to be to show the opposite of traditional bookstores. I'm guessing the author was trying to set up a plot where a book lover like Alice is torn between the world of traditional bookstores and the e-book world. I just could not really buy it.
This facts of this story just seemed to be weak...from the company where Alice goes to work (weird in the extreme) to her husband's changed career expectations but he seems to not be willing to pick up the slack at home even though he is only working part time.
In the middle of the book I sort of drifted off, read another book, and came back to this. I did finish it, but I didn't love it. If you want a really good book about a bookstore and the book world, read The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry....I loved it.