The Ten-Year Nap
Riverhead, Mar 2009, $
Ten years ago lawyer Amy took maternity leave to give birth; she has not returned to work instead raising her son. Her close friend Jill struggles with life in the Manhattan suburbs. Former artist Roberta struggles with raising a family vs. work. Finally Chinese-American mathematician Karen ponders using her skills or staying home.
These four women struggle with similar issues of whether to stay home to raise a family or go back to work. They are friends, but find little comfort sharing their thoughts of being just like their mothers as each considers bringing in income before they become too old to do so and what they want out of life even as each wonders where the time went.
This fascinating contemporary drama focuses on the premise that kids nuke dreams forcing a parent to make difficult choices between their personal desire and what their offspring needs. Although the action is limited, Meg Wolitzer gets deep into the respective heads of her four stay at home Manhattan moms. Each wonders if they made the right decision since they feel their brains have turned into mush and whether it is too late to go back to work at their dormant profession as technology has moved on.