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Publisher's Summary

For a group of four New York friends, the past decade has been largely defined by marriage and motherhood. Educated and reared to believe that they would conquer the world, they then left prestigious jobs to stay home with their babies. What was meant to be a temporary leave of absence has lasted a decade. Now, at age 40, with the halcyon days of young motherhood behind them and without professions to define them, Amy, Jill, Roberta, and Karen face a life that is not what they were brought up to expect but seems to be the one they have chosen.

But when Amy meets someone who seems to have fulfilled the classic women's dream of having it all - work, love, family - without having to give anything up, a lifetime's worth of concerns, both practical and existential, opens up. As her obsession with this woman's bustling life grows, it forces the four friends to confront the choices they've made - until a series of startling events shatters the peace and, for some of them, changes the landscape entirely.

©2008 Meg Wolitzer (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

Critic Reviews

"A perceptive, highly pleasurable novel that serves as Wolitzer's up-to-date answer to the old question: 'What do women want?'" ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Wolitzer's novel offers a hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, vision of women's (and men's) capacity for reinvention and the discovery of new purpose." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    62
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    19
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    10
  • 4 Stars
    17
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    11
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • Pullman, WA, United States
  • 11-17-09

I tried to like it

I've enjoyed other books by Meg Wolitzer very much. I tried to like this one, but it just dragged. Maybe I have a hard time identifying with female characters who stay home and don't have jobs, but everything was so "interior" that I couldn't make myself care--or finish the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Beach Read


The book is a sort of chick-lit for 30 year olds. It was very enjoyable and easy to listen to.

My only gripe is the mispronunciation of the town of Naperville, IL, which is the home town of one of the characters. The narrator pronounces with a short "a," tho the actual pronunciation is with a long "a." You would think this would have been checked out by the editors.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring!!

I listen to a book everyday on my MP3 player at work, this book put me to sleep it was soo boring.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Keri
  • Little Elm, TX, USA
  • 07-18-08

Poor narration

I just started listening to this, and so far it seems like a terrific and compelling story, but the narrator really stinks. She's very staccato and abrupt, like a digital, almost robotic voice. I'm trying not to let her voice ruin it for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 06-19-09

Very Good portrayal

Some of the reviewers have described this book as "chick-lit." Well, I'm not a chick and I like this lit a lot! It is true that the book is told in a distinctly feminine voice, and that is somewhat of a departure for Meg Wolitzer. One of my favorites is her 2005 book, The Position, in which she writes in such a distinctly male voice that it is almost disconcerting. I have never read anything written by a woman that so accurately portrays the voice and thoughts of a male mind. Indeed, in The Position, she proves the plausibility of one of her other great books, The Wife, in which the main character turns out to be the ghost-writer, for her husband, a celebrated author. In the Ten-Year Nap, Wolitzer really demonstrates what a versitile author she is. Perhaps I was drawn to this book because the main character and I share the same profession, but her portrayal of a bevy of stay-at-home moms seems spot on to me. My youngest child is ten-years old and my wife has been a stay-at-home mom. She and her friends from "the play group" are going through the issues and anxieties of moving back into the "working world." From the viewpoint of a husband who is looking at his wife and her friends during this liminal moment in their respective lives, I would say that Wolitzer captures reality in this book, and I found the book not at all depressing. Indeed, I found it comforting.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kari
  • Littleton, CO, USA
  • 12-06-08

Liked it

I liked this audiobook; yes, the characters are kind of shallow and unlikeable. Yes, the narrator's voice is staccato, but that quality worked well for the book. Yes, I noticed some mispronunciations. The ending made it worthwhile for me - it wraps up nicely - almost too nicely; but still, it works and gives you a lot to think about.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • Choctaw, OK, United States
  • 05-29-08

Ten Year Nap

Appropriate title... What a snooze! If you are into self-absorbed types this is for you. As a working mother or a stay at home mother I doubt you will find much here to identify with. If you do, my sympathies. If you feel you are giving up your life to have children... don't have any!!! If your identify is all rapped up in either your work or your children it is time to get a life! Yes, I have children and a rewarding and successfull career. I have grandchildren and my children were not screwed-up because I worked. I kept hoping for some solution at the end of this drivel that would make it worth the agnoy of listening to...didn't happen. Run now while you have the chance. Don't waste your credit.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Meryl
  • CUMBERLAND CENTER, MAINE, US
  • 06-03-11

ZZZZZZZZZ

Boring. Didn't like the narrating. Disappointed. There were a few gems but these were few and far between.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy
  • Hudson, MA, USA
  • 06-19-08

Disappointing

This is the first audible book that I don't think I'll finish. I'm surprised that I'm not interested in the characters or plot, since I have thought about many of the issues discussed myself. I don't care for the narrator, and the plot is depressing and boring so far (have made it thru the first 1/2).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Reading it sort of felt like a 10 year nap

I loved the interesings. This was very difficult to get hooked. None of the characters were relatable.