Rebecca's Reviews > A Window Opens

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-via-edelweiss, bibliophiles-delight

A sweet, funny debut novel about a woman who tries to juggle all the elements of a happy life: finding the perfect job for a modern book-lover…but also being a good mother to her three children, supporting her husband after he loses his job at a law firm, and helping her mother care for her father as he suffers a relapse of throat cancer.

New Jersey commuter Alice Pearse goes from writing about books for You magazine (I bet Egan doesn’t know that’s a real publication title in the UK, the Mail on Sunday’s women’s mag!) to working for the New York City office of Scroll, which plans to open hip, inviting book lounges where readers can experience all the latest e-books. From the get-go Alice has her doubts about a company that has the mantra “Paper Is Poison” and replaces first editions with video games. Is this really the right place for a bibliophile? Best friend Susanna, struggling to keep her independent bookshop open, thinks Alice has basically made a deal with the devil, but what choice does Alice have if she wants to keep the family afloat?

Like other books I’ve read recently that are set in the publishing world – Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin, and Cinema Lumière by Hattie Holden Edmonds – A Window Opens succeeds because its female first-person voice is immediately engaging. You like Alice and root for her.

I suspect the story is highly autobiographical for Egan; it’s clear that she knows firsthand the difficulties of balancing a fulfilling career with marriage and motherhood, and sections on facing the loss of a parent are also particularly moving. I thought Alice’s hipster colleagues at Scroll were maybe a bit clichéd (Dave Eggers’s The Circle came to mind), but it’s easy to accept that their ideas about books are soulless.

I’ll keep an eye out for what Elisabeth Egan writes next.
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Reading Progress

May 9, 2015 – Shelved
May 9, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
July 1, 2015 – Started Reading
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: read-via-edelweiss
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: bibliophiles-delight
July 10, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Diane S ☔ Reading this one soon., Love your review, Rebecca.

Rebecca Thanks! It's good-natured; I think you'll enjoy it.

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