In "Otherhood," author Melanie Notkin reveals her own story as well as the honest, poignant, humorous, and occasionally heartbreaking stories of women in her generationwomen who expected love, marriage, and parenthood, but instead found themselves facing a different reality. She addresses the reasons for this shift, the social and emotional impact it has on our collective culture, and how the new normal will affect our society in the decades to come.
Notkin aims to reassure women that they are not alone and encourages them to find happiness and fulfillment no matter what the future holds. A groundbreaking exploration of an essential contemporary issue, "Otherhood" inspires thought-provoking conversation and gets at the heart of our cultural assumptions about single women and childlessness.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Notkin (Savvy Auntie) coined the term "otherhood" to describe "our misunderstood group of women doing our best to live full and meaningful lives despite the frustrations of some of our most cherished longings": love, marriage, and children. She notes that "the rise of childless women may be one of the most overlooked and underappreciated social issues of our time." As a high-powered, attractive New Yorker who, along with many female friends, achieved success through talent, hard work, and perseverance, she sets out to answer how she and girlfriends in their mid-30s and older are, despite efforts and expectations, still single and why they are "scrutinized so unsympathetically, harassed for sticking by our convictions and invalidated as just plain less than everyone else." Part sociological study, part memoir, the book explores issues including men's reluctance to plan a date, commit, or marry women their own age; egg-freezing trends; the joys and agonies of relationships with others' children; modern matchmakers; and Notkin's own resolution as she enters "the other side of fertility." Heartfelt and frank, the book may be a comfort to other unintentionally single, childless women and a disturbing revelation to their friends, families, and colleagues, although the affluent Manhattan-centricity of the author's cohort may alienate less-privileged readers. (Mar.)