The Ten-Year Nap
By Meg Wolitzer
The women in Meg Wolitzerís novel have much in common. In addition to being close friends each woman, for her own reason, made a decision to become a stay-at-home mom. Ten years later these college grads, former career women, are separately and collectively wondering how their lives became so ordinary.
There are husbands and other men in this novel but they are almost peripheral characters in The Ten-Year Nap. One woman, a lawyer by profession, a stay-at-home mother by choice listens to her lawyer husband complain about his day at his job, adds her own bad day scenario of what happened that day. While waiting to see their childís pediatrician--she and the child had to wait full hour before seeing the doctor.
The reader is allowed and encouraged to delve into each womanís day-to-day life. The constants are their spouses, their children and their scheduled morning meets at the their favorite restaurant. This is where they share bits and pieces of what has taken place the previous day and their plans for next day. At one point while reading The Ten-Year Nap, the song, "Is That All There Is?" popped into my head. However,The Ten-Year Nap is not a story about unhappy women, rather one of women trying to be happy with the paths they have chosen. We follow each womanís ten-year journey as she changes or stays the same.
It is significant that the owner of the restaurant, where the women met for breakfast for so many years, is the person who notices that something has happened within this intimate circle of women. He asks one of his waiters "So where have the ladies in the back been? I donít see them very often." The young waiter shrugs, he does not know and does not care about these four women. The owner, still thinking about the young women who used to be regulars, observes that something has changed. He might see one of them sometimes, or maybe another, but they no longer appear consistently anymore, or in a group as they once did.
A lot of action takes place within the pages of this book, however, the action is often slow, sometimes plodding, step by step, just as it is in our own lives. This is not so much a beach book, but one to be read while sipping a hot cup of tea with soft oldie's music of your generation playing in the background.
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