The Ten-Year Nap
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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.
Meg Wolitzers's newest book, The Interestings, is now available from Riverhead Books.
she was getting the help she required. Jill, for her part, had become a kind of shadow-mother, and Nadia absolutely needed the big protective shadow that Jill threw across her. This week too, Nadia had taken her first singing lesson in the city with Anna Milofsky, who had invited her to be a private student, and she had enjoyed herself. Though Nadia had real talent, she was not a star like her namesake, Nadia Comaneci. She lacked the take-charge attitude of that other Nadia, the extreme
have let her become Peeps again for television; he should have given her that, but, primly, he would not. He would withhold it from her. He wouldn’t be the one to inflect her day with meaning. Instead, he would give her a beautiful house in Harlem with a studio filled with light and the possibility of new, more interesting friends. Immediately upon thinking about friends, Roberta felt guilty, and she e-mailed Amy and Karen right away and made plans to have breakfast tomorrow morning at the
divisiveness. Happiness didn’t seem to be determined primarily by whether or not you worked; one of the most ebullient mothers in the grade, Ronnie Prager, hadn’t held a job since she’d left Wall Street years earlier. Ronnie liked to say she had been around for every milestone in her children’s lives instead of having to get a call at work from a babysitter at the same moment that Tokyo was on the other line: “Mrs. Prager, Anderson has something he would like to tell you.” “Hello, Mommy, it’s me,
say, “I have been quietly watching all of you, and there’s one of you whose mannerisms I have been most impressed by—not only when in character but also when simply sitting at the table, responding to the performances of others.” And then he would name a name and take that person with him to New York, where he or she would be deposited in short order upon a Broadway stage. During the day Susan McCrory worked at her low-paying job as a nursery school teacher in downtown Philadelphia, but every
gesture that seemed at the time like a pleasurably perverse, nearly sexual act in itself. His best puppets were a duo named Nuzzle and Peeps. “You know, these could be a big hit,” Roberta recalled saying to him in that bed. “You should really do something with them.” “I try,” said Nathaniel. “But you know how corrupt the puppetry world is.” She didn’t, though. It was only a job to her, not a life, and she had thought of it as somewhat incestuous and low-level mean-spirited, in the way that any