For fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?.
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?
I REALLY liked this book.
For some reason, I seem to be reading more books like this one, even though I'm pretty much always young enough to be the main characters' daughter. I don't even care about that fact, because there are so many life lessons in them and I can still find ways to relate to their lives, which always makes my reading experience amazing.
From the very first page, I loved this book. It mentions a book from my favourite author in its very first page, so I knew the main character and I would get along very well. Then, I discovered so many things about Alice's love for books, bookshops and publishing companies that I felt like I was reading an encyclopedia about my passion... In a good way. Sharing such an important part of my life, my love for books, with a MC is an amazing thing!
When I continued reading, I started falling in love with Alice's family, from her adorable kids to her incredible husband. She has one of the best relationships I've read about in a long time, because she and Nicholas are (at least initially) honest, loving and patient with each other. I loved how supportive they are for each other and how their love is still so strong, even after all these years and three kids. I started to fear for their relationship in the middle of the story, but deep down, I always knew that they'd find a way to get through everything life throws at them, because they're just that kind of a couple (the OTP kind, to be honest). Alice's relationship with her parents made me smile and broke my heart, too, because this is the part where I could relate a lot. I think her feelings are very well described and I have to admit I cried more than once while I was reading (which always happened to be in public, of course).
I think everyone would enjoy this lovely novel, because it's bittersweet and full of life lessons that we should all remember.
(Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.)