Wednesday, January 25, 2017

#Collaboreads | Same Name

A bookish linkup with friends - #Collaboreads | Same Name - A Simpler Grace #asgbookshelf

We're back again with another #Collaboreads linkup and this month, we had to choose a book by an author with the same first name as us. I didn't think I'd find one by someone named "Lecy", so I went with my legal first name, Elisabeth, and boy, I was pleased with the result. Below is my review for Elisabeth Egan's A Window Opens.

A Window Opens
by Elisabeth Egan

In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine, Elisabeth Egan, brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. 

Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. 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, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, 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 babysitter gets fed up, 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?  -  Goodreads description

What part of the book could you not get enough of?

I must say the best part about this book was Elisabeth Egan's writing style. Her words flow like poetry. I listened to the audiobook and it was narrated by Julia Whelan who also read Gone Girl. She is very talented at reading books aloud. She knows just when to take pauses and her intonation is spot on. But, back to Egan's writing... She goes into just enough detail so you can picture the people and scenes around you but not so much that the chapters are overly-wordy. She has mastered the "show, not tell" rule of writing.

How did you relate to/care for the characters? What are your thoughts on the plot line and twists and turns?

I could relate to the main character, Alice, as she is trying to do it all, as most women are. She is juggling being a wife, a mother and a full-time professional, all without losing her mind. Although I'm not a mother, this story resonated with me because I've seen so many women struggle with this battle of not feeling like they measure up. The truth is, it's impossible to do it all. This book highlights how difficult it is for a woman to maintain a happy life while wearing multiple hats.

What other books are like this one? If none, did it remind you of a particular tv show or movie with its themes and characters? Does it serendipitously line up with things going on in your life or in the news right now?

The only other book/movie I can think of that sort of relates to this one is The Devil Wears Prada, and maybe because I had just watched the movie before reading this. In the movie, Andrea deals with finally finding her groove in her professional job (and enjoying it) when her relationships start to crumble because she has spent all her time working and less time cultivating those relations. This is how it goes for Alice too. Her husband starts to give her a hard time for not remembering things that need to be done around the house and even a friendship becomes strained as the result of her new career.

You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages?

Because I listened to the audiobook, I didn't have a physical copy in my hands to look at. The book cover design didn't do anything for me. It was cute, but nothing that really related to or indicated what the story was about.

STARS | ★★★
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I really enjoyed this read. For being chick-lit, it was a little deeper and more intense than anything else I've read from this genre, but it was still light enough that you could read it quickly and enjoy it. I would recommend this to a friend because I thought the writing was really good. I am definitely looking forward to another book from Glamour book editor, Elisabeth Egan.

What are you reading and loving this month? 

This post is part of the #Collaboreads linkup with Rachel and Kristin. For more info on how you can participate, visit Rachel's page for details.

The post #Collaboreads | Same Name first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!


  1. Ooh, this one sounds so fun! I'm glad you found a book that you liked -- we don't always that lucky with these themes, ha! Loved Devil Wears Prada, so any book that's slightly similar is sure to be a fun one. :) Hope you join us again next month, Lecy!

  2. I was really pleased with this one! Thanks for hosting this every month, Rachel! It's so much fun! :)