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Publisher's Summary

A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick

"A hands-on, real talk guide for navigating the hot-button issues that so many families struggle with." (Reese Witherspoon)

Tired, stressed, and in need of more help from your partner? Imagine running your household (and life!) in a new way....

It started with the Sh*t I Do List. Tired of being the "shefault" parent responsible for all aspects of her busy household, Eve Rodsky counted up all the unpaid, invisible work she was doing for her family - and then sent that list to her husband, asking for things to change. His response was...underwhelming. Rodsky realized that simply identifying the issue of unequal labor on the home front wasn't enough: She needed a solution to this universal problem. Her sanity, identity, career, and marriage depended on it.

The result is Fair Play: a time- and anxiety-saving system that offers couples a completely new way to divvy up chores and responsibilities. Rodsky interviewed more than 500 men and women from all walks of life to figure out what the invisible work in a family actually entails and how to get it all done efficiently. With four easy-to-follow rules, 100 household tasks, and a series of conversation starters for you and your partner, Fair Play helps you prioritize what's important to your family and who should take the lead on every chore from laundry to homework to dinner.

"Winning" this game means rebalancing your home life, reigniting your relationship with your significant other, and reclaiming your Unicorn Space - as in, the time to develop the skills and passions that keep you interested and interesting. Stop drowning in to-dos and lose some of that invisible workload that's pulling you down. Are you ready to try Fair Play? Let's deal you in.

©2019 Eve Rodsky (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

One of Forbes Best Books of 2020 

"A hands-on strategy to divide tasks and achieve household harmony." (Real Simple

"[An] impressive debut.... Couples searching for ways to better manage their families and achieve a balance of domestic work will benefit from Rodsky's actionable strategy." (Publishers Weekly

"Rodsky's system, which uses task cards divided between partners, is potentially revolutionary and [Fair Play] offers the right combination of venting and commiserating balanced by practical solutions and manageable approaches to tough conversations...poised to become a book-club favorite." (Booklist

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What listeners say about Fair Play

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Hated it! Like REALLY HATED IT!!

I wish I could give no stars but it makes me give one. Eve, the author, comes across as a whiner and complainer. She seems totally spoiled. I feel bad for her kids and her husband. It will be very interesting to read her kids’ future books - haha! It seems she has a “to-do list” and she wants her husband and others to do half of it because “that’s fair”- ha! I found myself wanting to yell at the book, “you don’t have to do those things!” No kid NEEDS elaborate birthday parties; teachers don’t NEED gifts; thank you cards don’t NEED to be sent, and on and on. Her kids seem like a burden to her and she seems in competition with her own, chosen husband. What happened to doing things out of LOVE - hello?! I bet if you, Eve, just did things out of love, you would have that returned to you. Her martial relationship seems very business like and not from a place of love - no doubt this stems from Eve herself. Also, you can tell she grew up without a Dad in the home because she portrays men today as what we read about some men from the 50s. I’m sorry, I don’t know any men who think or act like you think they do. My husband has changed A LOT of diapers and my dad has too. I and my husband, both, come from large families with lots of men in them and 99% of them love their kids and their wives and do SO MUCH to make their lives better and help - like they are on the same “team.” I don’t know if Eve played sports growing up, but maybe she should have. Team members often don’t have the same roles but they compliment each other and when they work together they can be super successful playing to each other’s strengths. Eve needs to drop the “S&@? I do list” and start a list of “things I love” or “things I’m thankful for” - she and her friends could be a lot happier. I’m really sorry I read this book - it was for a book club I’m in. Fun to discuss, but whoa! We could all not disagree more with her assumptions and the way she wants change. I could go on and on about all the stuff I did not like about the book - but this is a start. REALLY HATED IT!

23 people found this helpful

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The accidental traditionalist married to a one step forward two steps back.

I do not have children yet and my husband and I are newly married. HOWEVER, adjusting to living with a woman for my husband and adjusting to living with a man for myself has been a very tough transition in our lives. I like things tidy and put together while my husband could care less how the house looks. As a result, I’ve been handling all the household responsibilities including cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, scheduling appointments, paying bills, and yard work. My anxiety and depression were taking over and I was so fed up with having the same argument with my husband about how I’m exhausted and I need help.

Then I found this book. I love Reese’s book club but usually opt for only fiction reads and steer clear of “self-help” books. This book was so different. I found myself saying “yes” and “omg I’m not the only one”! This book offered so many perspectives on how women run the household and how their husbands contribute monetarily but do not always contribute to home life/kids either consciously or subconsciously. The beginning can be pretty negative and make you feel a lot of anger towards your current lifestyle but I do not believe this book victimizes women but rather empowers women to realize you are capable of doing it all but you don’t have to. Finding balance and individualizing ourselves can help the entire household and this book really gives great tools to try to do so. I recommend giving it a listen and being open to change.

9 people found this helpful

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Could Be Ground Breaking . . . .

Great content, but at times instead of maintaining the focus on the groundbreaking ideas and system that will be life changing if implemented, it feels a bit to focused on the negative and bashing of husbands, not on the great solution she is providing. No, doubt husbands generally deserve it, but it doesn't help them move toward the solution. Still worth it for every couple to read and take advantage of, if the husband will listen/read through the whole book. In most situations the real challenge will be getting the husbands to buy into moving forward with the process of the better situation that will be the end result. While she does give great counsel towards the end about helping the husbands get on board, I suspect many husbands will not make it past the first few chapters because of the negativity and guilt she focuses on early in the book. Sometimes it feels like she is more worried about building camaraderie with other women that helping them to get past the hurdles of the pushback that many may experience from their husbands.

5 people found this helpful

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Must read for all women

Fair Play is a must read for all women. It should be mandatory reading before getting married and then again before having kids. It is never too late to put the Fair Play system in to practice. It has already made my approach to potentially difficult conversations more effective.

4 people found this helpful

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Good ideas, too repetitive

There were very good points, but halfway through the stories and points started to become too repetitive.

4 people found this helpful

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Required reading for moms!

Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. ANY kind of woman who is frustrated with their partner, and doesn't want to be (all of the time), can benefit from Fair Play.

Eve does such a good job of articulating the exact level of annoyance and frustration women feel when all of the weight of the household responsibilities default...or "shefault" to us. But she offers hope in the form of a new approach to help busy moms and dads get on the same page.

Love the idea of making task sharing a game to lighten the mood and keep nagging (and resentment) at bay.

4 people found this helpful

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couldn't finish it

the author uses labels like shefault parent and others that only foster the separation of roles which is the opposite of what she's trying to do with her card theory. it turned me off and some of her rules around the cards simply create inefficiencies in the home life balance too and others impossible with jobs that arent 9-5. there's no flexibility with her program, lots of "musts". really disappointed that this was a Reese Witherspoon tech. I love all her other stuff and everything she stands for. I think next time I'll just stick to her fiction selections.

3 people found this helpful

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Terrible and poorly written. Hated it.

I can’t begin to relay how much I dislike and disagreed with this book. The author’s arguments are weak, narrow-minded, and one-sided, and certainly do not represent the opinions and views of this full-time working mother of four. Don’t waste your time on this book!

2 people found this helpful

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Too much complaining and not enough solutions

This is full of complaining and belittling her husband and other husbands. It sounds like she had the means to hire help and could have solved many of her problems instead of the incessant martyrdom.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing Book

I love this book, there are many things that I will put to good use in my home! Wish there were points on how to handle a house with step children however this book is amazing and my husband as been really receptive to some changes that I have implemented... without him knowing I read this book to help make those changes.

2 people found this helpful