Cover Image: A Window Opens

A Window Opens

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Member Reviews

I read this book a long time ago and I'm just realizing I never added it. A heroine similar to Kate Reddy (Alison Pearson's fearless heroine), she is taking care of everyone in her life and trying to balance it all.   I really liked it.
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I love books about bookstores and people that work in them! This book brought up some great conversation about publishing and how sometimes your job isn't all it's cracked up to be. Alice Pearse was super relatable and her flaws are some that we don't normally see in contemporaries which was great.
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A modern mom’s battle to juggle all the issues on her plate - this time, in the realms of modern reading (too).

Alice has a quite lot going on - three young children, marriage, part-time job. And the last issue is going to change, as her husband Nicholas is to change his career to be self-employed lawyer. And this needs a lot of planning and money, so Alice is happy to step on to be the the full-time working mom. And the job DOES seem interesting - a new take on modern reading! 
But there is no free lunch, as they say...

As a keen reader, I was very ready to love this one. And the tidbits on the modern reading trends were truly interesting! 
I am also game for reading about the every day life in modern womanhood.
The tone of the book is civil (no Sophie Kinsella hilarity here) and Alice truly is the everyday mom next door. 
But this is where my criticism lies - unfortunately it is the "everydayness" which makes me feeling unrelated to this book. Alice’s life is quite common, there is nothing truly exciting about it (I mean the stress and tragedies are real, but there is not enough of them for this to be truly heart-wrenching read, neither there is fun enough for this to be refreshing, sassy read). 
The plot is also very predictable. 
And as I do not want to read about what I (similarly) live - I do want to read something to drift me off - I am going for 3 stars here.
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This book was a very quick, light read although I kept feeling like it was missing something. I wasn't a big fan of the main character, Alice, finding her very hard to relate too which is always kind of a bust when reading. Overall, an okay read. One of those "it's not you, it's me" types of situations.
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Well, this has been read in tandem while I read another book and A Window Opens didn't suffer from my diverting attention.

I guess that I don't know who the target audience was meant to be for a this novel; young urban high income earners with children? Are there a large percentage of those in the population? On one hand, it was The Devil Wears Prada in the new world e-book phoney baloney cruel corporate culture for dear idealistic Alice Pearse, formerly part-time mommy, magazine editor forced to take a full time job with ridiculously high pay and long hours when her husband's job goes up in flames. Kinda funny. I liked that part. Pure chick lit. 

Then it was seriously sad, with a dying father and bereaved mother, grief-wracked kids and a husband who found more joy in bottles of booze than he did in the new legal business he was supposedly setting up. The time impact caused by family needs created unreasonable corporate snits and great personal conflict for Alice. Dramatic fiction, but...

Alice got to buy great clothes and look like a grown up in her grown up job. However, she experienced the hardships of not keeping up with her growing children's needs for wardrobes which fit, socks from the laundry not coupled and matched and having her very responsible babysitter taking over all of the time with the kids which used to be hers. Tragic. 

Loyal, responsible Alice realizes (we've already figured this out by the second day, so it isn't a spoiler), that she doesn't much like her job, the family doesn't much like her having this job which has her on the phone texting when she IS home, her best friend doesn't like her job because it is in competition with her stock of real books in the neighbourhood book shop but Alice is afraid of being unable to afford bread without it. Nicholas, her lawyer husband, tells her that his new firm is doing quite well. If they don't upgrade their kitchen with the inheritance from her dad, she should quit the job and figure out what she WOULD like to do. Which, you know, is convenient because the babysitter is quitting to take an office job. LOVE FINDS A WAY! 

I like chick lit because it usually has a flagrant disregard for reality, a large element of "Cinderellaism" and is usually goofily self-disparaging. It's feel good fiction, with sass and doesn't take itself too seriously. Any message is delivered usually one with common sense, aside from the elegant or not froth. 

But "A Window Opens" can't make its mind up about what kind of novel it would like to be. It isn't a bad novel; the writing is quite good. It ends up floating in the netherworld of "women's fiction", with cute kid one-liners but no particular purpose. As Alice bemoaned her job while her excellent babysitter provided fabulous care, I thought of the many women who would love to have that advantage. And finally, when Alice decided that she didn't like her job and she could quit, I couldn't help but think of all of the women who must work every day, support their families, tolerate less than self-actualizing working conditions with less than a wonderful salary and aren't in a novel that promotes the hogwash this one does. 

It made me want to join her husband Nicholas and drink vodka in the basement.
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