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Fair Play

A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live)
Narrated by: Eve Rodsky
Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (146 ratings)

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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)

A revolutionary, real-world solution to the problem of unpaid, invisible work that women have shouldered for too long.

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 domestic 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 figurative card game you play with 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. Are you ready to try Fair Play? Let's deal you in.

©2019 Eve Rodsky (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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For Coupled People

The book is dynamic, but it is written for people living within a coupled environment. “When you have too much to do and more life to live” made me gravitate to the book as a single executive. I appreciate the author and the insight, but was disappointed that most of it would not apply to me until I am a mother and wife.

20 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Be Interesting -- it's good for the family!

I really enjoyed this book. I did something like this when my son was very small with a deal-a-meal card set and it worked a treat. Especially if you are a visual thinker -- this is a book for you.

8 of 11 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dadius M
  • North Salt Lake, Utah United States
  • 11-12-19

Some really good advice and some really bad

There are some really important points for husbands in this book. Pay more attention to your wife, give her more free time, take more household chores off of her plate, value her as a person and value her time.

The more marginal advice comes when the author steps outside her field of expertise and tries to give too much detailed relationship advice. The most pressing example is recommending that couples do hobbies that are separate from their partner this may work for some people but it is certainly not a universal truth and licensed counselors won't buy into this as a universal piece of advice. each partnership and couple is unique.

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing! Balanced, fair, and positive!

Eve articulately provides a discussion amongst herself, experts, and real life examples about creating an environment of support, structure, and positivity in modern day marriage and family life. As a new wife and cat mom, even I related to the stories and struggles she walks us through in her book. A big thank you to Eve for giving so much thought and unicorn space time to finding a fair solution to the daily tasks and disagreements we all face. This is just what my husband and I were looking for to balance our deck!