I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It and Where’d You Go, Bernadette will cheer at this “fresh, funny take on the age-old struggle to have it all” (People) about what happens when a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny—only to learn every opportunity comes at a price.
In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine Elisabeth Egan brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.
Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?
As I read “A Window Opens”, I kept having flashbacks to “I don’t know how she does it”, by Allison Pearson. This is another “Mom needs to do it all to take care of her family” story. Elisabeth Egan certainly captures the trials and tribulations of a working mother trying in earnest to care for her family, care for her parents, and bring home the bacon, to keep their house and life afloat.
While it has humor and heart, the characters experience the pressures that a lot of families deal with on a daily basis. This made the story very real to me.
I could not help but fall in love with Alice Pearse within the first few pages. At the beginning of the story, Alice is filling a suitcase to the brim with all of the books I read as a child (Fun Flashback..lol), then going out to “sell” these books to her father, over and over again. It was too adorable. It would be safe to say that anyone that enjoys reading, has fond memories of their first love affairs with books; your favorite books, your favorite authors…So, I was taken in right away by Alice’s childhood memory! She had me! I was a quick fan!
Then, we move to Alice as an adult, married with three children about to get some news that will alter her life forever. Her husband, Nicholas comes home from work early one day to tell her that he threw a fit at his office after finding out that he was not going to make partner at the prestigious law firm he had been working. Being that he now cannot return to this office, he decides he will try and “hang a shingle”, and begin practice as a private attorney. This book is about this adventure.
And, an adventure it is!
Alice has one choice, and that is to get her act together and find full time employment to take care of her family. Nicholas going to be building his law practice. That will bring on a headache all on its own.
But, like any heroine, she dives right in! She has been working part-time at YOU Magazine as a Book Editor, but this job would not suffice if she would be taking care of all of the bills. She has to balance her career, and taking care of her family. So, Alice finds a full time job at a trendy eBook Lounge called, Scroll. This is a virtual book store that has all of the comforts of a Starbucks and library, only without the books on the shelves; you can order them on your personal electronic devices. For a lover of reading, and having a friend that owns a “real” bookstore with “real” physical books on the shelves…she is really tugging the line. How will this job pan out for Alice? Especially when her close friend owns a local book store that carries print books. There is a bit of torment that goes along with choosing this job. But, will it be worth it? Will this job help her keep her family afloat, and her sanity intact?
This book tugged at my heartstrings as I still battle with the eBook/Print Book choices. What reader does not love a story full of books, woman working with books, a leading lady having been a book reviewer herself…
Let’s get real here, she is my hero!!!