Review: A Window Opens

Posted August 30, 2015 by Elizabeth in book reviews/ 12 Comments

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review. Affiliate links within the post provide a small commission to support blog expenses and giveaways. This is in accordance with US FCC regulations.

Review: A Window OpensA Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
Genres: Contemporary Women, Family Life
Published by Simon & Schuster Source: NetGalley
August 25th 2015 | Pages: 384
Purchase on Amazon | Add to Goodreads

In A Window Opens, Glamour magazine books editor, Elisabeth Egan, brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine. Alice is a mostly-happy married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, and a loyal friend. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach. Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?

I received A Window Opens from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This does not influence my opinions or the content of my review. This review contains affiliate links and is in compliance with FTC guidelines.periwinkle-swirl

There were many things I liked about Elisabeth Egan’s debut A Window Opens. Here are my top five.

The glory of books is celebrated.

When I arrived for my first day of work, visible rays of light crisscrossed through the store, turning the shelves into a rainbow of spines: thick, thin, shiny, matte, striped, printed with small pictures and designs, lettered in gold. The effect was dazzling. I already knew the bustle of the Blue Owl on a weekend afternoon, or after closing with customers in work clothes lingering over platters of Triscuits and cubed cheese. But, I realized, this was my first time in the store before it opened and, instantly, I knew it was the best time to be there—the bookseller’s equivalent of watching your kids sleep. I could feel the peace in my bones.

Claire and I learned a new use for an old word: agnostic.

“Of course. I have a Kindle, first generation. I also read galleys, manuscripts, hardcovers, basically whatever I can get my hands on.” “So you’re agnostic.” “Actually, I was raised Catholic, and I’ve fallen pretty far from the flock, but I still consider myself a spiritual person, if that makes any sense?” (Why was she asking about religion? Was this even legal?) “Good to know. But I meant platform agnostic, meaning you toggle back and forth between your device and carbon-based books.”

Claire and I learned a new word: carbon-based books.

“We’re introducing a gaming component to our lounges. We’re moving away from carbon-based books altogether and swapping out first editions for video games. The market research shows, our demo wants something for their kids to do while they shop.”

Claire has her own epiphany, no one has to scream and yell at her to change.

But it was clear: the motherhood equivalent of love at first sight. Sometimes you just know. And so you rearrange your life around what you glimpsed through a little window that opened for one second to show you a glimpse of something you might never get to see again. Even so, you know you will never forget the view.

A Window Opens is a book for book people. Throughout the novel, Claire refers to her life as a reader and her thoughts on the importance of reading, instilled since childhood.

There was the Holy Trinity we learned about in the CCD program at Our Lady of Agony, and then there was the one Will and I absorbed by osmosis at home: work hard, read a book, go to bed early.

I hope these quotes inspire you as book lovers and make you rush out to grab A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan. You won’t be disappointed.

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12 responses to “Review: A Window Opens

  1. This was a great book. I loved the agnostic quote which had me laughing out loud. My other favorite quote had the opposite reaction:

    ~~Georgie pointed at the empty penny loafers by the back door. “Mommy, Pop forgot his shoes!” I sat down at the kitchen table and cried through an entire box of Kleenex.~~

    I don’t know about an entire box, but I used at least a couple.
    Donna @ OnDBookshelf wrote an interesting post…It Started With ParisMy Profile

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