Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

**An apology for not blogging for so long - I've been sick, and it's difficult to sit at the computer when you don't feel well! At least I managed to finished several books, so I have something to blog about!**
The Ten Year Nap follows several months in the lives of a handful of women. What these women have in common is the fact that they are mothers. For the few that are central to the story, they are mothers that quit their jobs when they had children, and have not gone back to work even though it has been ten years. They each contemplate going back to work, for various reasons, but so far they never have. For Amy, the reasons are not fully formed - she's thought about it, but deep down she's afraid that she won't be able to keep up with the changes that have happened in the legal field since she left. Her mother is a strong feminist who worked as a novelist while raising her children, and she is constantly pushing Amy to go back to work. For the other central characters, life is just as complicated, and offers no easy answers about whether or not you can be a good mother and have a career.
This was a very interesting read, and meaningful to me, as I plan on quitting my job once I am pregnant - and I do not plan on going back once my child is born. Most women have an opinion on this subject, but that sometimes changes once they have children of their own. For the women of this book, many of them thought they would go back to work, and then just never did. There are some characters that act as foils for these women - mothers who work, whose children go to school with theirs. They work because they love their jobs, their career is important to them. But what kind of mothers are they? Are Amy and Jill better mothers because they do not work? The book does not answer this question, leaving it up to the reader to ponder.
One of the things that I really liked about the way this book was written is the way it went from character to character, telling us details about these women's lives. Then there would be a chapter about the mother of the woman of the preceding chapter, giving us a glimpse into her world. It made the characterization very deep and interesting. This book is an excellent look at the modern family woman, and was a very intriguing read.

1 comment:

Jeane said...

This is a topic that would touch me closely- as I'm a mom who always intended to go back to work but haven't yet. It hasn't been ten years- and I'm hoping it won't, but... well things just keep postponing that step...