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Publisher's Summary

Women are constantly being told that it's simply too difficult to balance work and family, so if they don't really "have to" work, it's better for their families if they stay home. Not only is this untrue, Leslie Bennetts says, but the arguments in favor of stay-at-home motherhood fail to consider the surprising benefits of work and the unexpected toll of giving it up. It's time, she says, to get the message across: combining work and family really is the best choice for most women, and it's eminently doable.

Bennetts raised two children while earning a living, and she understands the challenges and the rewards firsthand. She and millions of other working women provide ample proof that there are many different ways to have kids, maintain a challenging career, and have a richly rewarding life as a result. When women sacrifice their financial autonomy by quitting their jobs, they become vulnerable to divorce as well as the potential illness, death, or unemployment of their breadwinner husbands. The truth is that when women gamble on dependency, most eventually end up on the wrong side of the odds.

Not since Betty Friedan has anyone offered such an eye-opening and persuasive argument for why women can and should embrace the joyously complex lives they deserve.

©2007 Leslie Bennetts; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Impressive research and interviews with experts and with real women." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
  • Gulia
  • spartanburg, SC, USA
  • 03-09-10

Quality of the audio book

It was pretty sad that the book was not complete. Following page by page of her physical book, I hear bits and pieces of it in the recording. It is a very good book and worth listening to the whole content of the original, not a short version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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couldn't get into it.

as a working mom I was interested to read this however I tried and just couldn't get interested in the story

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Great point, too many anecdotes

The point of the book is an excellent one, but it could have been made in fewer chapters. There were too many similar anecdotes. I would've traded some for more facts and practical advice. Reading this book gives me a little more security in decisions I will soon be making in relation to working vs being a mom.

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Must Read

I'm a mother of 2 and have been on the fence between staying home with my children or staying in my career of ten years. This book has greatly helped me make my decision. What was my decision? Listen to this book and you will know. Thank you so much Leslie Bennetts!

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  • hillary
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 12-02-12

Why didn't anyone tell me this before?

Would you consider the audio edition of The Feminine Mistake to be better than the print version?

No, it is the information, not necessarily the performance that is so rich and helpful.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is a non-fiction book, but the author uses the stories of many women to illustrate her points.

What about Leslie Bennetts’s performance did you like?

She delivers her advice in an empathic way and often connects the examples to her own experience as a working mother. Also, because she herself interviewed the many women quoted in the book, she can deliver their stories in an authentic way.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Why didn't anyone tell me what a mistake I was making?

Any additional comments?

This book shines a light on the downside of the "Return to the Home" movement and explains why women should be more cautious before happily walking away from work to raise children full time. It's very helpful, and has changed my attitude toward working mothers.

  • Overall
  • Allison
  • East Palo Alto, CA, United States
  • 10-09-09

Thank you Leslie Bennetts

This book made me feel better about my decision to keep working even though by down-sizing my family might have been able to swing it with a single income. This book gives a lot of food for thought, I would highly recommend it to any working Mom. I live in Silicon Valley and this book does speak to my reality; I am surrounded by well-educated well-to-do women that have decided not to work and occasionally I think I'm insane for keeping working; this book reminds me that my choice is not insane.

I didn't give 5 stars because the book is quite sexist (against men) and it really does speak mainly to those women that are wealthy enough to have a choice as about working not to those women that work to make ends meet.

  • Overall
  • Meggan
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 01-03-08

A Wonderful Wake-up Call!

I was so gratified, so happy to hear someone articulate how important it is to nurture your career AND your family. So many of my friends have backed quietly into the stereotypical role of stay-at-home mother, with only their husband's income to keep things going. Today!! This is going on in my generation, right now! I'm planning to send some of them this book as a New Year's present to remind them of a few things: that they are as obligated to support their families financially as their husbands are... that husbands should be asked to make life-changing decisions about career and family (relocate so she can find a job? drive the minivan? quit your job so she can accept a promotion 2,000 miles away? stay home with the sick child? deal with the PTA?) as often as wives are... that fathers can love and nurture their children as well as mothers... that working mothers ARE full-time mothers... that recovering from a 5- or 10-year hole in your resume is hard enough to make you give up, and that you can't afford to do that. Thank you, Leslie, for this logical, methodical, enlightened explanation.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful