Okay. I am happy to admit I bought this book purely on the cover. It’s really simple and eye catching and has a quote from Liane Moriarty on the front. Liane. Moriarty. Usually I don’t pay much attention to the testimonials but geez. How could I not pick it up?
A Window Open is the story of Alice Pearse, New Jersey mother of three, whose husband leaves his job, forcing her into full time employment. It is a classic modern family drama, a debate over life at home with the kids or a high-profile career. Which must be sacrificed? Is it possible to have both? It’s also a reminder that it’s so easy to work 24-7 these days, our devices are always switched on, emails are being checked. But when we do this, are we truly working to live? Before you know it a year has passed and you’ve barely stopped to notice the seasons change.
Alice juggles her three children, a career that she becomes increasingly uncertain about, her husband’s mid-life crisis and differences of opinion between friends, before the inevitable happens and she is forced to take a step back and revaluate her priorities. The plot line is a tad predictable, but the story written in a relaxed, engaging style and you find yourself turning the pages quickly.
Egan also addresses the issues of technology versus tradition, eBooks versus print books, local versus global. Is it possible that they can survive side-by-side? She made me wonder – how are the traditional bookstores closest to you faring? In Australia they seem to have survived the threat of eBooks for now and most are thriving when I visit, but perhaps there is more going on beneath the surface. Many stores have expanded and developed what they sell. Some have incorporated cafes and other complimentary side-businesses to survive. Is this the case where you are?
I can see why the publishers have used Liane as a selling point for Elisabeth Egan’s book. There are definite similarities in their writing styles, but for me the humour in A Window Opens falls a little short. There are bleak undertones which place a heavy burden on the story, and the lighter moments struggle to shine through. This wasn’t a difficult read though and I certainly enjoyed it for the most part (what book-lover wouldn’t enjoy a novel about another book-lover!).
Overall, I suggest you make a cup of peppermint tea and take A Window Opens out to read in your garden or on a balcony. This book is perfect for a quiet moment in the sunshine.