This past year life has thrown a lot of changes at us. Some were very, very welcome like the birth of our daughter Grace, and others were heart breaking like the loss of our dog, Bailey. But there was another big change that I didn’t write about, not cause it was a secret, but because it wasn’t my story to share.
Last August right before I found out I was pregnant, my husband decided to leave his job and start his own company. It was one of the biggest decisions we made as a couple and there were times when I was worried about our families future. I don’t work full-time, my job doesn’t have health benefits and being a single income family is hard enough without that person leaving their job. And I was pregnant, talk about stressed out.
Now a year later we know that John setting out on his own was the best decision, but that doesn’t make those early months of adjustment any easier. I picked up extra hours at work and we trimmed out budget. I had to figure out how to balance the additional work, family and pregnancy.
In A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan, Alice finds herself in a very similar situation to the one I did last year. Alice’s husband Nick throws his laptop across a conference room after finding out he’s not making partner. He decides it’s time to start his own law firm. Alice soon finds herself landing what she thinks is her dream job at Scroll, a company that is supposed to revolutionize the literary industry. Alice begins to juggle family life, a full-time job and the return of her fathers cancer and she quickly learns that work-family balance is pretty much impossible when you are a mom.
The premise of A Window Opens drew me in, but it held my attention because Elisabeth Egan nails what it is like to be a mom in 2016. The book is filled with spot-on caricatures of the moms you find in any suburb and with Alice’s smart insights about being a working mom. One of my favorite lines from the book was ” I didn’t even have the job yet, and I was already agonizing about accepting it”. I can’t count how many times in the last 5 years I’ve had that same thought run through my head whenever an opportunity came up. As a mom I always feel torn between my responsibilities at home and the desire to have a career. I tend to assume that if I take on more work that the home responsibilities will still fall on me, that I will never truly balance both. I love how Egan so perfectly illustrates this internal struggle that I’m sure most women can relate to.
I also enjoyed Egan’s depiction of the Scroll workplace, from the email lingo to the acronyms to the “everyone has to get on board” attitude Egan clearly gets what it is like in the modern workplace. I was laughing out loud at so many of the Scroll policies like wacky Wednesday.
After having Grace, I found it hard to find a book that could hold my attention, that was worth my very limited “me-time”, A Window Opens was the perfect book for me. The novel is full of scenes that had me smiling, nodding along, laughing and crying. Alice was a little bit of every mom I know and the kind of person I would want as a friend.
A Window Opens is available in paperback.
I was sent a copy of A Window Opens to review at my discretion all thoughts and opinions are my own.