Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Window Opens - Elisabeth Egan

A Window Opens
Elisabeth Egan
Simon & Schuster, Aug 25 2015, $26.00
ISBN: 9781501105432

Alice Pearse loves her life as a New Jerseyite wife, mother of three, dutiful daughter, year round dog walker, eternal children’s book fan, reading club member and part-time You magazine editor.  Her perfect world collapses when her husband Nicholas angrily tosses a laptop at the Manhattan legal firm where he works after failing to make partner.

Nicholas tries to put a positive spin to his unemployable situation in which no reputable firm will hire him after his “terrible twos” temper tandem when he explains to astonished, shocked Alice he always wanted to open his own practice, which he plans to do in the suburbs.  Realizing she needs full employment to pay the bills while her spouse struggles with his start-up, Alice catches a break when Genevieve Andrews hires at chic Scroll bookselling.  Initially her life looks even better than before her husband’s infantile meltdown, but her perfect job proves hellish instead and her mate turns increasingly to alcohol to numb his failures.

This witty, mirthful middle class satire mocks the American dream especially skewering the super suburban soccer-grizzly mom perception and the SCOTUS concept that as Mitt Romney states: “corporations are people”.  Although the pacing somewhat decelerates late in this fabulous family drama; since going full time employment while remaining full time (including on call) at home Alice (and her fans) feels like she fell through the rabbit hole.

Harriet Klausner

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