A Window Opens: An Up To the Moment Working Mom’s Tale

31 Jul

Elisabeth Egan, the books editor for Glamour magazine, has written her first novel, clearly drawn from her own experience.  “A Window Opens” tells the story of Alice – a mom of 3 with a lawyer husband whose career has stalled, a daughter with aging & failing parents, and a part-time worker who dives into the full-time madness of an amusingly portrayed digital publishing & retail company (Barnes & Nobel, anyone?).

Elisabeth can write, and in a very contemporary “hip mom” voice. She casually name drops multiple elements of the publishing world because she clearly knows that world well. As a result, the story feels fresh and populated by “real” people. The book was fun to read.

Very much in the vein of “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” the story stays light.  Despite major life changing events – a husband becoming an alcoholic, a father dying, struggling to work in a chaotic job – we never really feel Alice struggle. And maybe that was Elisabeth’s intent.  But when I was done – and digesting and thinking about writing a review – I felt cheated. I’ve lived through some of those major life events and had real moments of despair. This book has the feeling of a rehearsed cocktail party anecdote – drawn from real life but polished. It’s a Nancy Myers movie – all beautiful furniture and easy resolution. It stays on the surface like a friend you don’t share intimate thoughts with. And with Elisabeth’s clear talent, I wanted more. At the end of the book, it feels like Alice has figured it all out – leaving those of us in the real world to wonder where the pain, emotion and growth went.

I would recommend this book because it is a well-written, enjoyable story. And I’m looking forward to seeing more from Elisabeth.

Window

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