4.02.2008

Book Review: The Ten Year Nap

The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

I received this as an ARC, but it was actually released just a few days ago.

This was kind of a slow burn of a novel...it seems to take me ages to make a dent in the pages to really get into the "meat" of the story, but not in an unpleasant way, more in a "slowly unfolding" way.

Wolitzer follows the trials and tribulations of several New York wives and mothers, the "ten year nap" referring to the decade since they each gave up work to care for their young children. The novel focuses on their struggles to find their own identities within the confines of their families, the friendships with each other, their relationships with their children, and also with their husbands.

Wolitzer's switch from woman to woman is subtle and nuanced, but I most enjoyed the "mini chapters" that featured a woman only casually mentioned in the chapter before being fleshed out and made a part of the book. It makes more sense when you read it, but was a really interesting device in the novel.

The book doesn't feel very optimistic, but you root for these intelligent, albeit bored, women to find themselves within the larger orbit of their lives. Wolitzer's writing, though, is engaging, with occasional turns of phrase that you just have to read two or three times - something I love to find in books.

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