The Ten-Year Nap

tenyearnap.jpgI’m thrilled to welcome new guest contributor Jen. A Boston mama, prosecutor turned writer, and avid reader, today Jen reviews Meg Wolitzer’s new parenting novel The Ten-Year Nap. Read on for Jen's review, as well as to learn how to be one of five winners to receive a copy of The Ten-Year Nap!

“When people ask me what I do these days, I’m tempted to ask them to clarify. Do you mean what I used to do? Or what I’m currently doing? Or maybe what I hope to do in the future?

Writer Meg Wolitzer understands my temptation perfectly. In The Ten-Year Nap, Wolitzer explores the lives of four New York friends who have spent the past decade raising their children. Through well-placed glimpses into these women’s pasts as well as the lives of their mothers, it becomes clear that none of these woman expected to be in this situation. Yet, as children have matured, as marriages have faltered, as families have moved from city to suburb, their decision to leave their careers is the one constant that unites this spirited group. Viewed against the background of one woman’s friendship with another mother who appears to have achieved the holy grail of having it all – a glamorous career, a supportive husband, and three children whose concerts and soccer games she always manages to attend – each woman will struggle with her identity and come to a unique conclusion about the decision she made ten years ago.

Rather than being cliché and stereotypical, as some stories about the “mommy wars” debate tend to be, Wolitzer treats this subject with depth and sensitivity. Wolitzer understands that the decision a new mother must make about whether to remain in the work force or stay at home with her children is not made spontaneously nor easily. Nor is it permanent. Wolitzer’s characters are insightful, interesting, a tad obsessive, and very amusing. By the end of the novel, you’ll wish that you had been invited to sit with them for a morning cup of coffee at their neighborhood diner, regardless of whether you head home or to the office when that cup is done.”

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Now, want to be one of five winners to receive a copy of The Ten-Year Nap?

  • Just click over to Ten-Year Nap publisher Penguin Group, then email (with 'Nap' in the subject), and name another Penguin published book that you’re interested in reading (other than The Ten-Year Nap)!

  • One entry permitted per person; US entrants welcome.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Thursday, March 27, 2008.