A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan (NetGalley Review)

I got my first denied request on NetGalley (wah!), and realized that I should probably do some catching up on all the books I requested after I joined.  The ratio of reviews to requests is a factor in whether a publisher chooses to give a galley.  And, though I have EVERY intention of reading all the books I requested, I've only read about one a month!  Without further ado...

A Window Opens, by Elisabeth Egan, is the story of Alice: a middle aged mom of three, who is forced to begin working full time after her husband quits his job as an attorney.  This was a very familiar feeling story, with nuances of Where'd You Go Bernadette and a little bit of every Liane Moriarty book I've read.  Maybe it was also familiar because of the myriad similarities to my own life.  This quote cracked me up, when her company 'Scroll' was talking about their target customer as a female who is 25-45, has pets, shops at Anthro, splurges on face cream, averages 3 books a month, etc:

"I felt like I was watching a nature program about myself.  'She dwells in that gray area between family obligation and a desire to satisfy her own sense of adventure.  Here she is now, coming in for the kill.  Watch as the mom sinks her unmanicured claws into the dad's neck.  He has failed in his mission to gather food for their young, so she must feed them tacos instead...'"

Not only does Alice have kids the same ages as mine, but she's a total bibliophile.  Novels that include books as another main character are always compelling to me (see also: The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore).  The job she takes at a big box retail conglomerate aiming to put small bookstores out of business gives Alice a great deal of angst, and the corporate culture satire was HILARIOUS.  I'm not a working mom, but I certainly remember those corporate days and the ridiculousness of such phrases as: deep dive, shift gears, and (new to me) pivot.  In addition to her crazy stressful job, she's also worrying about her husband's downward spiral, a beloved nanny who is moving on with her career, and a parent going through cancer (another life similarity).  

This book is very fast paced, and I blew through it in just over a day.  With all of the heartrending chaos in Alice's life, I wanted desperately to see her get back on track.  Most of the narrative was predictable, but nonetheless enjoyable.  I'd categorize it in the 'grown up chick-lit, with some heft' category, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to my mommy contemporaries.  Outside of that audience, I'm not entirely sure how it would go over, but I'd say the commentary on corporate culture, books and media would make it worth checking out.


  1. Andrea, I read this one this summer and was a bit disappointed; I think my expectations were too high - ha! It was fairly entertaining, but I wanted to hear more about her career and the corporate craziness; you're right, though, in that it was a really quick read and probably great for certain audiences. I'm glad to hear you'll be posting (maybe?) more reviews!!

    1. Yes! I usually do a monthly round up, but will dedicate a whole post to a NetGalley review or something really wonderful :)