Crisp, witty dispatches from the domestic front by a former wild child.
Good Housekeeping contributing writer Pittman offers 18 chronologically assembled essays detailing the genesis of her life as a devoted wife and mother in the wake of a crushing divorce and numerous dalliances. From the opening chapter, the author establishes a refreshingly candid writing style, unapologetically describing her earlier years as an unbridled woman, seemingly incapable of fidelity. While unemployed and estranged from her first husband, the author began a serious relationship with Patrick, who she met on the Internet, yet cheated with a man from a poetry slam. Patrick forgave her, but insisted she remain devoted to building a monogamous life together. Pittman writes passionately about refocusing her efforts on finding employment and finally marrying Patrick, though freely admitting she “never really belonged inside the white picket fence.” Subsequent pieces amusingly fall into place, weaving together scenes from the author’s entertaining and informative journey through happily married, stay-at-home motherhood. Major trepidation about the birthing process begat terminal shortcomings in domesticity, organization and life management, which, Pittman declares, could be the result of her childhood or the fact that “homemaking is not my forte.” Serious rough patches in their marriage and finances are leavened with the author’s comic comprehension of sex after childbirth and the compulsion to wear Spanx.
The author writes with an acerbic intellect, blending self-deprecation with reflective back-patting into cohesive life stories that are relatable and, thankfully, usually funny.