Short takes on life from a writer and mother of small children.
Yearning for an ideal life, Barry (Later, at the Bar: A Novel in Stories, 2008) and her husband left New York City and good-paying jobs to buy a fixer-upper apartment building near the author’s hometown. Barry planned to write, and her husband planned to start a magazine. They would raise children, eat good food, visit with family and friends, and have a nice home with neighbors just across the hall. What they couldn’t foresee as they embarked on their dreams was the recession of 2008, which threw a corkscrew into their plans. Writing with honesty, a bit of humor and some self-despair, Barry delves into the highs and lows of being a work-at-home writer mom who struggles to balance hours spent writing a novel with the care of two small, rambunctious boys, the need for money and work at a time when no jobs were available, and the thousand other aspects that make up a normal life: trips to the coffee shop, fights with her husband and sister, maintaining a home, enjoying the holidays, etc. Her story reflects the angst felt by many women who try to juggle raising small children with having a career, whether that occupation entails leaving the home on a daily basis or working amid the chaos of a domestic household. The author also explores the overpowering joy one can feel at odd, brief moments when everything coalesces into beauty and love. Interspersed with a smattering of recipes, these short and pithy nuggets offer readers a glimpse into the fears and dreams of a modern woman who balanced work, marriage and kids to the best of her ability.
A solid addition to the growing genre of short, witty essays written by women about having a career while trying to raise a family.