The Ten-Year Nap

By Meg Wolitzer
Binding:Paperback
Publisher:Riverhead Trade, (3/3/2009)
Language:English



Average Rating:
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1.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)


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The New York Times bestselling novel that woke up critics, book clubs, and women everywhere.

For a group of four New York friends the past decade has been defined largely by marriage and motherhood, but it wasn’t always that way. Growing up, they had been told that their generation would be different. And for a while this was true. They went to good colleges, and began high-powered careers. But after marriage and babies, for a variety of reasons, they decided to stay home, temporarily, to raise their children. Now, ten years later, they are still at home, unsure how they came to inhabit lives so different from the ones they expected—until a new series of events begins to change the landscape of their lives yet again, in ways they couldn’t have predicted.

Written in Meg Wolitzer’s inimitable, glittering style, The Ten-Year Nap is wickedly observant, knowing, provocative, surprising, and always entertaining, as it explores the lives of its women with candor, wit, and generosity.
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greatreads's thoughts on "The Ten-Year Nap"
updated on:4/18/2009

This was one of the worst books I have ever read. I threw it away, in fact, before I was finished, it was so bad. Don't read it. It is not worth your time.

Do not Unleash


"The Ten-Year Nap"
By Meg Wolitzer

Average Rating:
Do not Unleash
1.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)


The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 
 
 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.
 
 

  1. Though much of the story is told from the perspective of Amy, her friends, and their families, at times the perspective widens to include all women. What is the purpose of this technique? What is the author trying to convey through its use?

  2. One of the main themes of the novel is the legacy of the feminist movement, with Amy’s mother representing the promise of its early years and Amy and her friends representing its practical result. What, overall, does the novel have to say about feminism? Is the idea of feminism still relevant in today’s society?

  3. Although Roberta initially seeks to help Brandy Gillop with her art career, she ultimately abandons her. How did this affect your assessment of Roberta’s character? Were you surprised? What is your overall assessment of her?

  4. Amy’s friendship with Penny begins when she learns of Penny’s affair with Ian, and ends when he is injured on Saint Doe’s. Discuss the relationship between Penny and Amy. Why does the affair create such an intense—though fleeting—bond between these women?

  5. While most of the “flashback” chapters deal with the parents of the novel’s main characters, a few focus on real historical and contemporary figures: Margaret Thatcher, Georgette Magritte, Nadia Comaneci. Why do you think the author included these chapters? How do these glimpses of their lives tie into the larger themes of the novel?

  6. Amy’s discovery of her Leo’s falsified “business expenses” causes her to question her belief in him and their marriage. Why does this discovery cause her so much distress? What does it say about her relationship with her husband and her expectations from life in general?

  7. Though she rarely speaks of it explicitly, the suicide of Jill’s mother has clearly cast a shadow over Jill’s entire life. Discuss Jill’s life story—her early promise as a student at Pouncey, the humiliation of her failed doctoral thesis, her struggles with raising Nadia—in the context of this early trauma. How does her mother’s fate shape Jill’s reactions to events in adulthood? Are there ways in which it has made her stronger?

  8. Unlike the rest of the book, which is told from the point of view of women, chapter fourteen is told from Amy’s father’s perspective. What is the significance of this chapter? What do you think the author is trying to convey through this character?

 
 

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From Publishers Weekly
In her latest novel, Wolitzer (The Wife; etc.) takes a close look at the opt out generation: her cast of primary characters have all abandoned promising careers (in art, law and academia) in favor of full-time motherhood. When their children were babies, that decision was defensible to themselves and others; 10 years on, all of these women, whose interconnected stories merge during their regular breakfasts at a Manhattan restaurant, harbor hidden doubts. Do their mundane daily routines and ever-more tenuous connections to increasingly independent children compensate for all that lost promise? Wolitzer centers her narrative on comparisons between her smart but bored modern-day New York and suburban mommies and the women of the generation preceding them, who fought for women's liberation and equality. Contemporary chapters, most of which focus on a single character in this small circle of friends, alternate with vignettes from earlier eras, placing her characters' crises in the context of the women, famous and anonymous, who came before. Wolitzer's novel offers a hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, vision of women's (and men's) capacity for reinvention and the discovery of new purpose. (Mar.) 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

Review
“Wolitzer is as precise and rigorous an observer of social status as Tom Wolfe; she is as incisive and pitiless and clear-eyed a chronicler of female-male tandems as Philip Roth or John Updike.” 
Chicago Tribune

“Vividly, satisfyingly real.” 
Entertainment Weekly (A-)

“Wolitzer perfectly captures her women’s resolve in the face of a dizzying array of conflicting loyalties.” 
Washington Post

“Very entertaining. The tartly funny Wolitzer is a miniaturist who can nail a contemporary type, scene, or artifact with deadeye accuracy.”
The New York Times

“Smart and funny.”
Booklist

“Immensely enjoyable.”
Miami Herald

“Wise and witty.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Engrossing and juicy.” 
Salon

“Liberating and poignant.”
Elle 
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Meg Wolitzer is the author of seven previous novels, including The Position and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize.


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