The Ten-year Nap
by Meg Wolitzer
The Jane Austen of contemporary sexual politics transforms domestic fiction - this time into a compelling, compassionate and witty inquiry into the ... Show synopsis The Jane Austen of contemporary sexual politics transforms domestic fiction - this time into a compelling, compassionate and witty inquiry into the price of ambition, the value of work, issues of class, money and the meaning of motherhood. For a group of four New York friends, the past ten years have been defined by marriage and motherhood. Educated to believe that they and their generation would conquer the world, they nonetheless left high-powered jobs to stay at home with their babies. What was intended as a temporary time-out has turned into a decade. Now at forty, without professions to define them, and with children growing up, Amy, Jill, Roberta and Karen wake up to a life and a future that is not what they expected or intended. When Amy gets drawn into the ambit of a seductive and successful working mother who seems to have it all - work, love family - a lifetime's worth of concerns, both practical and existential open up.As Amy's fascination grows, the four friends are forced to confront the choices they've made in opting for stay-at-home motherhood over career, for domestic over financial responsibility. Wolitzer's narrative brilliantly juggles and manipulates the classic image of the harassed, emotionally ambivalent but dynamic working mother, against the secret satisfaction, regret and powerlessness of the stay-at-home version - and behind that their own mothers, an earlier generation who had fewer options and sometimes bigger dreams. Nothing is quite as it seems, though, and Amy faces a real-life wake-up call when the romantic images she's conjured up start to curdle, reality takes hold, and the landscape begins to shift for all of them.