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More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children. While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true. In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a g More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children. While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true. In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a growing demographic that has gone without definition or visibility until now. In Otherhood, author Melanie Notkin reveals her own story as well as the honest, poignant, humorous, and occasionally heartbreaking stories of women in her generation—women 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.


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More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children. While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true. In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a g More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children. While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true. In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a growing demographic that has gone without definition or visibility until now. In Otherhood, author Melanie Notkin reveals her own story as well as the honest, poignant, humorous, and occasionally heartbreaking stories of women in her generation—women 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.

30 review for Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Hall

    I received this book as an early read via NetGalley. I am 46, divorced and happily remarried, I do not live in NYC, I'm a successful business owner and I am childfree - by choice. This book appears in all the marketing to be geared toward women like myself, indeed like a good number of my friends and professional acquaintances. Women who, whether through an early understanding of what they wanted out of their lives, or who like myself reached a point where they had to make a real decision on hav I received this book as an early read via NetGalley. I am 46, divorced and happily remarried, I do not live in NYC, I'm a successful business owner and I am childfree - by choice. This book appears in all the marketing to be geared toward women like myself, indeed like a good number of my friends and professional acquaintances. Women who, whether through an early understanding of what they wanted out of their lives, or who like myself reached a point where they had to make a real decision on having children (as opposed to going off the pill and waiting for nature to take its course), had made a well-thought out choice to not pursue having or adopting children. Instead, this book reads like one long repetitious and self-involved version of "Sex in the City - The Day After". One of the major themes was that there are no available men who also possess even a weak moral compass and who appreciate women who fall anywhere near age-appropriate in Manhattan, or the entire NYC area. Theme two was that every single woman in the author’s circle was fabulous, gorgeous, jet-setting, generous to a fault, borderline genius and yet, still pining desperately, day in and day out, to create children with one of these unavailable man-prizes. To say I couldn't relate to the majority of what the author was endlessly complaining about would be an understatement. I could go on and on, but let me just sum up by saying that there are a HUGE number of women who are truly childless by choice! We are as happy or unhappy as any average person with children, we aren't suffering nobly or sublimating other people’s children as a replacement for those we didn't/couldn’t have on our own and we are not coming up with catchy labels for ourselves involving the word "auntie". We also don't feel the need to prove that we have maternal instincts to everyone we meet in lieu of being able to show proof that we've procreated. The author’s emotions seem genuine, but it also feels like she – and most of her friends – stopped their maturation processes somewhere in their very early 20’s.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Great and timely topic, with many relevant points. It reads more like Sex in the City than a meaningful account of a demographic that is too often overlooked. Unfortunately, Miss Notkin (she's simply too whiney to be called Ms.) attempts to validate herself by name dropping every trendy bar and restaurant in NYC, where she seems to exclusively interview only incredibly successful women. The topic is too important to be treated so gratuitously. I can already imagine the sitcom or reality show bas Great and timely topic, with many relevant points. It reads more like Sex in the City than a meaningful account of a demographic that is too often overlooked. Unfortunately, Miss Notkin (she's simply too whiney to be called Ms.) attempts to validate herself by name dropping every trendy bar and restaurant in NYC, where she seems to exclusively interview only incredibly successful women. The topic is too important to be treated so gratuitously. I can already imagine the sitcom or reality show based on this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I knew about two pages in that this book was the complete opposite of what it had been marketed as. I thought it was going to be about women who are not mothers by choice and how society reacts to them. Instead, it was about women who don't have children but very much want them. Even though I felt it was misrepresented, I decided to keep reading anyway. Big mistake as this was one of the most self-serving, whiny pieces of drivel I have ever read. The quote on the cover states that this is for an I knew about two pages in that this book was the complete opposite of what it had been marketed as. I thought it was going to be about women who are not mothers by choice and how society reacts to them. Instead, it was about women who don't have children but very much want them. Even though I felt it was misrepresented, I decided to keep reading anyway. Big mistake as this was one of the most self-serving, whiny pieces of drivel I have ever read. The quote on the cover states that this is for anyone interested in "what it's like to be a woman today". This book does not represent what women are today, and it actually made me feel embarrassed for my gender. The author and her friends (all super successful, beautiful, rich women as she constantly reminds us) are all whiny, insecure, and just straight up bitchy. The first chapter "Modern Women" sets the tone straight away; "fabulous" women hailing how independent they are while simultaneously complaining about dates who leave the dining decisions up to them and don't "court" them properly. As another reviewer previously mentioned, if the date made all the choices, they'd be bitching about that! Chapter after chapter we are hit over the head with how awesome the author thinks she is (or is trying to convince us she is), while reminding us that we have to take her personal feelings into account about every decision we make in our own lives. Lady, get over yourself. My intense dislike of the author aside, this reads like a compilation of articles, not a cohesive book. It never really goes anywhere, and the same sentiments and complaints are stated over and over again. A complete waste of my time for which I blame myself for muddling through the whole book. I honestly don't remember the last time I hated a book this much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    I never write reviews but I feel like this book does such a disservice to women who find themselves childfree-- either by choice or by circumstance-- that I cannot keep silent. The idea is good. The research on childfree women is sparse and empowering narratives of childfree women are almost nonexistent. After the press on this book, I was hopeful we were finally going to get the "Yes. My life looks nothing like what I had thought I wanted. There are no kids and there is no husband. But in the a I never write reviews but I feel like this book does such a disservice to women who find themselves childfree-- either by choice or by circumstance-- that I cannot keep silent. The idea is good. The research on childfree women is sparse and empowering narratives of childfree women are almost nonexistent. After the press on this book, I was hopeful we were finally going to get the "Yes. My life looks nothing like what I had thought I wanted. There are no kids and there is no husband. But in the absence of those things, I've still been able to live a pretty freaking fantastic life. In fact, the way my life turned out is better than I could have expected." Alas, this is NOT that book with an empowering mantra. I found the book whiny and judgmental. I found the author juvenile in her perspectives. Honestly, when I read she was in her forties, I almost threw my poor kindle against the wall. The book reads like it is written by someone in her twenties (and early to mid twenties) rather than someone in her forties. At this point, one would think a person would have come to terms with being single and childfree. That is not this author. We need a voice of empowerment and self acceptance. Sadly, this is not that book. If you have become okay with how your life has turned out, avoid this book. If you are still struggling to accept that you may end up childfree and single for the rest of your life, really avoid this book. If you want to wallow in self-pity, then, well, avoid this book. Just my two cents. Go love yourself-- regardless of how your life turned out!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Hoo boy. I thought this could be really interesting, about single and childfree women. Instead it was a hot mess. It really irks me that this lady has dubbed herself "the leading voice of the nearly 50 percent of American women who are childless". Um, NO, you do not represent me. The author basically seems to have written this book to justify why she has waited for "love", before having children, resulting in her being 42 with no husband and no children. She mourns this extensively. She wants to Hoo boy. I thought this could be really interesting, about single and childfree women. Instead it was a hot mess. It really irks me that this lady has dubbed herself "the leading voice of the nearly 50 percent of American women who are childless". Um, NO, you do not represent me. The author basically seems to have written this book to justify why she has waited for "love", before having children, resulting in her being 42 with no husband and no children. She mourns this extensively. She wants to clarify that she has the right to hold out for love before children. Fair enough. I definitely agree; women have the right to wait for love before children. You even have the right to be as picky as you want when selecting a husband. You, author, have chosen these priorities and you don't have to defend them. However, you don't have the right to also complain about why you don't have a husband and children, and blame it all on men or circumstance. If you truly wanted a husband and children as your lifelong goal and deepest desire, you really should have realized by mid-30s that it wasn't happening where you live. The author talks extensively about the difficulties of dating in NY and the fact (?) that there are thousands more single women than single men. Okay, then why didn't you move? If it's a supply and demand issue, go somewhere with more supply. If you chose to prioritize staying in NY for whatever reason, fine, but that was your choice. Didn't you realize after, say, a DECADE of dating that it wasn't going to happen there, at least while you are still fertile? I agree that it's not fair. It's not ideal. It's not even necessarily her fault (being single). But what good does it do to make these choices, wait until you are 42, then decide to complain about them? She could have had a child without a man. (She had the means.) But she chose not to. And that's fine--everyone should have that right. So now she wants to complain about all of her choices because it's not fair? Really? Whose life is fair? The complaints about men's behavior while dating are laughable. The primary complaint seems to be that men don't want to plan dates. Yeah, that's not ideal, but is it SO bad for a man to ask you to recommend a place? Instead of being passive aggressive about it, how about asking him directly if you can take turns planning the dates? As a married person, I feel like if you can't resolve this, you probably shouldn't be married anyway...marriage takes WAY more compromise than that. Why do you allow random people to talk to you about your fertility and freezing eggs and why you are single? If you don't want to talk about it, change the subject. How are you 42 and you don't know how to tell people to mind their own business? Don't enter into these conversations and then complain that they happened. Yeesh. Also, PANK is not a "lifestyle". Being an aunt is fun but it is not a lifestyle. Just no, all around. Terrible.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    WOW. Wow. I got 8% into this book, and I can tell you right now why the author and her friends are not married. They are the most stuck up bitches I have ever read about in my life. These are successful career women in their late 30s/early 40s, and they are offended by a man asking them to choose the restaurant or meet them halfway for a date. Uh, what? IT IS 2014. For the love of God! Is there any way for a man to do anything right, ever, with these women? Because you know if the man chose the WOW. Wow. I got 8% into this book, and I can tell you right now why the author and her friends are not married. They are the most stuck up bitches I have ever read about in my life. These are successful career women in their late 30s/early 40s, and they are offended by a man asking them to choose the restaurant or meet them halfway for a date. Uh, what? IT IS 2014. For the love of God! Is there any way for a man to do anything right, ever, with these women? Because you know if the man chose the restaurant and was as decisive as they seem to want him to be, they would criticize him for being a controlling asshole. I'm sure the men they are going out with are thinking, "Hey, she's successful and beautiful, she'd probably prefer it if I got her input," because that's what society tells men now, that women are equal partners. These women don't seem to want that--they want a man to plan everything and treat them like royalty. The author is under the impression that she and her friends are marvelously special princesses who deserve to have their asses kissed, and oh my god, nothing could be further from the truth. This was such a disappointment--it sounds like her blog and her ideas about women who have somehow missed the boat on having children might be worth reading about, but I cannot get past how awful her personality is. Yikes. BTW, if you cannot handle a man asking you to meet halfway for a date, you probably cannot handle the complete and utter selflessness that needs to happen when you have a child. Holy crap.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    I honestly don't know if I can finish this book. More anecdotal than introspective, I'm finding it painful and negative. I'm about 1/2 way through and may give it another shot after a break since I find the initial questions posed by the author to be insightful and worth exploring but for now I'd say it's more a disservice to "the Otherhood" than a service. I honestly don't know if I can finish this book. More anecdotal than introspective, I'm finding it painful and negative. I'm about 1/2 way through and may give it another shot after a break since I find the initial questions posed by the author to be insightful and worth exploring but for now I'd say it's more a disservice to "the Otherhood" than a service.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor Lavish

    I think it's important to note that this is one of the ONLY books in existence that deals with a very real, very hidden issue for a lot of women: that is, women who don't have children not because they don't want to, but because they are still single and have rejected (for many reasons - emotional, financial) the option of being a Single Mother By Choice. They want to have kids, but in loving, stable relationships that somehow just haven't happened yet (and maybe never will). If that sounds like I think it's important to note that this is one of the ONLY books in existence that deals with a very real, very hidden issue for a lot of women: that is, women who don't have children not because they don't want to, but because they are still single and have rejected (for many reasons - emotional, financial) the option of being a Single Mother By Choice. They want to have kids, but in loving, stable relationships that somehow just haven't happened yet (and maybe never will). If that sounds like you, there are definitely parts of the book you'll relate to. Myself, I find that the beginning and ending chunks of the book are particularly resonant. That's where Notkin is the most introspective, and where she pulls in some of her research about the sheer volume of women like me who are out there. It's empowering to not feel alone in this! I totally understand some readers' issues with Notkin's "Sex and the City"-like recounting of her fabulous friends being fabulous and bashing all their dates. (In fact, I think her book has been optioned for a TV show.) If you're not in her tax bracket, it can sound like name dropping and whining. But as a Manhattanite, I can tell you that dating in Manhattan (no matter your income) is actually like this. It's like the vast number of choices for partners makes men want to play the field for as long as possible, far into their forties. Which would be okay, if they then wanted to settle down with women their own age. But they don't - they want women 35-and-under, women who aren't "desperate" for marriage and children, and it leaves a lot of us out in the cold. Do I relate to 100% of Notkin's book? Not by a long shot. Am I still glad I read it, and know that there are other women who are feeling the same sadness over not becoming the kind of women (mother, wife) that we'd always dreamed of being? HELL YES.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    Last year, I had an editor tell me that my decision to not to have a baby because I didn't have a partner was not interesting. The editor didn't want me to write about how I didn't want to have a baby because I didn't want to do it alone. This was pretty hurtful and invalidating to me. So, I was pretty happy to find out that Melanie Notkin, creator of Savvy Auntie, had written a whole book about single, childless women, including women who have decided not to have children because they don't have Last year, I had an editor tell me that my decision to not to have a baby because I didn't have a partner was not interesting. The editor didn't want me to write about how I didn't want to have a baby because I didn't want to do it alone. This was pretty hurtful and invalidating to me. So, I was pretty happy to find out that Melanie Notkin, creator of Savvy Auntie, had written a whole book about single, childless women, including women who have decided not to have children because they don't have partners. I was single for about 6 years in my 30s and am still childless, so I thought I would be able to relate. Sadly, I could not relate to this book at all. Maybe if I lived in New York, and had a lot of money. I've got lots of single, childless friends, and I didn't see them in the pages. I've never heard anyone talk about freezing their eggs. I couldn't relate to many of the women in this book. I think I wanted more analysis and more depth out of the book. I wanted to reading something like Eric Klinenberg's "Going solo". This book also felt like it kept on recycling itself. I think it would have made a great magazine piece, but it felt too drawn out to be a good. This is way too bad, as I think this topic needs to be explored and discuss.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I am very content in my child-free status, what I wanted from this book was ideas about (and confirmation of) how to build extended family and community with other single, childd-free women, especially as we age. All I got was more moaning about how many wonderful, accomplished, fabulous women there are iin search of Mr. Big (except hopefully, nicer and smarter and cuter than actual Mr. Big). But those of us who remain single are "too picky" too busy having our eggs frozen (what?) or too hung up I am very content in my child-free status, what I wanted from this book was ideas about (and confirmation of) how to build extended family and community with other single, childd-free women, especially as we age. All I got was more moaning about how many wonderful, accomplished, fabulous women there are iin search of Mr. Big (except hopefully, nicer and smarter and cuter than actual Mr. Big). But those of us who remain single are "too picky" too busy having our eggs frozen (what?) or too hung up on fill-in-the-blank-with-real-life-activity and/or neurosis-du-jour. Except I know all that because I'm occasionally awake and observant of my peer group and the world around me. Tell me how to be more content in the life I have. A few hundred pages of bitching alternating with a bunch of indiscriminate, unconvincing go-girl pablum is patronizing and unhelpful. Self-help books often set up very interesting questions at the outset, and then abandon the premise -- in the end that is their, and this book's, greatest weakness - and why I tend not to read them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Hopkins

    This was the best book I've read in 2015, and definitely one of the best books I've ever read. Melanie Notkin has given a voice to all the women who are like me, wishing for a husband and family but refusing to settle for less than love. Anyone who knows me should read this book - I guarantee it will help you understand what my life is like. This was the best book I've read in 2015, and definitely one of the best books I've ever read. Melanie Notkin has given a voice to all the women who are like me, wishing for a husband and family but refusing to settle for less than love. Anyone who knows me should read this book - I guarantee it will help you understand what my life is like.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Latasha

    Let me preface this by saying this book was advertised to me as "Childfree," which is a total joke. This woman is single with no children, who REALLY wants to be a married mom. Thus the 2 star rating- it was not my kind of book. I also gave it 2 stars because I have never read a book that was more "Woe is me" than this one. The otherhood are women who are single, "older," fabulous, successful, intelligent, blah blah blah who can't find a man. I get it. You can't find a man. She lives in Manhattan Let me preface this by saying this book was advertised to me as "Childfree," which is a total joke. This woman is single with no children, who REALLY wants to be a married mom. Thus the 2 star rating- it was not my kind of book. I also gave it 2 stars because I have never read a book that was more "Woe is me" than this one. The otherhood are women who are single, "older," fabulous, successful, intelligent, blah blah blah who can't find a man. I get it. You can't find a man. She lives in Manhattan/NYC, and the ratio of women to men is terribly skewed- there are like 3 women for every man. I get that she's having a hard time, in her 40's, and doubts she will ever get married and have kids. I even get that married friends and parent friends can be jerks about it, saying she's "Too picky," etc. However, what I can't handle is spending 250 pages complaining about the same thing from different approaches. This book would have been much better off as a blog series, in my opinion. I don't hate the topic, I have a lot of sympathy for these women. I just don't feel like it's a topic that I personally want to read. I will actually refer this to my "perpetually" single friends as they put it- I think it's a very strong camaraderie between these women who have so much in common. But as a childfree by choice individual, it's hard to sit through someone weeping over their circumstantial infertility.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    The premise of this book is great - unfortunately, nothing else is. After reading the first few chapters, I found myself wondering if it was actually meant to be a parody. The "fabulous" women of NYC in the book, who supposedly very much want to be wives and mothers, actually cite the inability to plan dates as their number one complaint about the men they date: "I'm happy to come to your area of town," he said, "but I don't know any places near you. Maybe you can suggest something?" That's your The premise of this book is great - unfortunately, nothing else is. After reading the first few chapters, I found myself wondering if it was actually meant to be a parody. The "fabulous" women of NYC in the book, who supposedly very much want to be wives and mothers, actually cite the inability to plan dates as their number one complaint about the men they date: "I'm happy to come to your area of town," he said, "but I don't know any places near you. Maybe you can suggest something?" That's your biggest beef about the men you date, and yet you expect to be taken seriously?!?! A couple of chapters later, another character whined about the fact that her date took her to a wine bar, then ordered beer. At that point, I decided I could only think of this book as a poorly done knock-off of Sex in the City, with much less likable characters. It also led me to believe that I would not enjoy living in NYC given the shallow social scene on offer. Surely there are nicer, more "real" people in NYC? I think the social phenomenon of an "otherhood", women who remain unmarried and/or childless (whether by choice or not) in the context of modern society is worth exploring. This book does not do that at all, and, in my opinion, actually does a disservice to the conversation about that topic.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Not quite what I expected -- it was more anecdotal and focused on single Manhattanites than the study/overview of various types of women dealing with various issues relating to deciding (or not) to have children. Still, since I myself have been struggling with being in my 40s and not being able to have children of my own, it was an interesting read and an interesting perspective ... I just would have liked maybe a bit more diversity to the presentation. It works well as a memoir. :-)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    Let's set one thing straight here before I begin this review: the author of this book is NOT, as described in the book description, "the leading voice of the nearly 50 percent of North American women who are childless." The author is an upper middle class New Yorker who has used conversations with women from her own social circle (who are ALL upper middle class to wealthy entrepreneurs and high powered business executives) to write this book. Had the author included a few excerpts from some down Let's set one thing straight here before I begin this review: the author of this book is NOT, as described in the book description, "the leading voice of the nearly 50 percent of North American women who are childless." The author is an upper middle class New Yorker who has used conversations with women from her own social circle (who are ALL upper middle class to wealthy entrepreneurs and high powered business executives) to write this book. Had the author included a few excerpts from some down to earth, middle America, middle class, regular nine to fivers, I may have allowed her take that credit. But New York City life (and by that I mean careers and dating) is not representative of the rest of North America! The book began (and continued to read) like a Sex & the City horror show of the trials and tribulations of dating in the most fast paced, competitive, and egocentric city in the United States (I live in San Francisco so we are a close second) and I about wanted to give up as I waited for the book to get to the bits about how the author was dealing with being childless versus relationship-less. If you've chosen this book to read, you most likely fit the author's intended audience: a single, childless (or the gentler and happier "Childfree") woman, age range of early 30s to mid 40s, who is pondering her narrowing period of fertility while also questioning whether she really wants children to be in her future. I read this book in five days and I have to admit they were probably five of the most pensive days I've had in a long time. The author brings to light issues and questions that can be painful to process, and I often found myself angry, depressed, scared, resigned, or nostalgic for my youth and my missed opportunities; admittedly sometimes it's easier to just shrug those feelings off or pretend they don't exist. I get it, her circumstance sucks. But many circumstances suck: developing a fatal disease; being poor or unemployed; being stuck in an abusive relationship. In relative terms, I would say the author (and I) have it pretty good. Yet the author spent about 300 pages bitching about her circumstances, woe is me, etc etc., while not once demonstrating to me an appreciation for what she has (besides her "fabulous life" - is she trying to convince herself or her readers?). Yes, I could relate to many things she discussed. I could relate to being childless by circumstance, because the romantic in me, like her, was hoping to raise a child within a family unit. I could relate to the tragedy of her childhood daydream of being married with children in her 30s not coming to fruition. I could relate to the passing of her mother early in life, and coming to grips with the possibility that I may be the end of my lineage - an evolutionary dead end. But I could not relate to the endless amounts of energy (and tears) she seemed to spend mourning the impending loss of her fertility. Sometimes, one has to accept one's lot. Besides the author reiterating over and over what a "fabulous" career she has, she didn't let on to having one single interest, hobby or passion beyond working, and I genuinely felt sorry for her as her entire life seemed to be spent commiserating with all her "fabulous" girlfriends over endless cocktails (while name dropping plenty of expensive New York bars and restaurants) about their quickly diminishing egg supplies. I needed to read this book, to snap me back into my senses once I fought through the anger, depression, fear, resignation and nostalgia that it brought forth. I can see why this book has been given so many negative reviews and one star ratings, though. It's a tough book to swallow, based on the aforementioned emotions that may be triggered. You want to tell her to shut the F up, to stop complaining, to stop reading your thoughts, to stop bragging about her "fabulous life" and all the money all her girlfriends make. Some things she writes you don't want to hear because they're bullshit, and others because they're the truth. I'd say if you fit her intended audience, and you are on the fence about your childless-ness and are not sure where you stand, this book is a good test of your own understanding. And I imagine that once I post this book review, the ideas that have been planted in my head from this book (even the lousy ones) will stick with me for a bit as I too try to figure out where it is I stand.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Reynolds-Gregg

    So as seems to be the experience with many people, I am a childfree woman who was very disappointed with this book. To be fair, I misunderstood that this book was more of a lament about being childless rather than the search to become happy/content with it, but still - it made reading this book a lot harder. First off, this book, while all about being childless and unmarried with your late thirties and forties, feels rather incohesive. Enough points get repeated that it often felt more like a ser So as seems to be the experience with many people, I am a childfree woman who was very disappointed with this book. To be fair, I misunderstood that this book was more of a lament about being childless rather than the search to become happy/content with it, but still - it made reading this book a lot harder. First off, this book, while all about being childless and unmarried with your late thirties and forties, feels rather incohesive. Enough points get repeated that it often felt more like a series of articles/editorials that were all thrown together without editing. It makes the whole book very monotonous and boring as a result. After finishing about the first third of the book, I found myself often saying out loud "Yes, I know. You didn't CHOOSE this and it's not fair to punish/judge women in your situation. I get it." I can understand that the author may feel a lot of defensiveness about the subject but she becomes so entrenched in making this point (and a few other ones) known that it begins to feel like a chore to push through it. Another big problem I have with this book is that it is almost 90% rehashing conversations she has had with friends (almost always at fancy, Manhattan bars and restaurants with gaggles of elite women in similar situations as herself). In fact, I began to wonder if she was going to every meetup with a friend with a recording device strapped to her chest. Occasionally these long conversations are broken up by her summing up or confirming a point her friend has said, but most of the time we are just left reading dialogue. There is so little actual writing in the book that you can even judge. In addition to the previous mentioned problem, I also really struggled with Notkin's very heteronormative, white feminist view point. Not only is the way her friends and she examines the dating world completely from a "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" view, but also from an extremely privileged and entitled view. The idea that women must be feminine and only want men who make them feel feminine caused me to roll my eyes more than once. According to these women, men who aren't entirely sure where they want to go on a date or who want to meet in the middle (literally in one case) are the worse. On the other hand, a man insisting on taking a woman on a date when she shows nothing but disinterest because he can give her babies, is just a well-intentioned sad man (not a fucking creepy stalker). I will give the book that at times it was almost a fun chick lit. Almost. And the chapter about her religion and how that affects her search for a husband was probably the best part of the book. Sadly, it was mostly just a poorly written series of recalled conversations that failed to pass as a real book worth reading. I'd give it one and half stars if I could, but can't bare to give it a full two.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caro

    I don't normally write reviews for books but I feel I had to say something about this book as I feel it has been marketed in a weird way. I am admittedly not the main demographic for the book: I am 24 and never want to have children by choice. I knew from reading the book's description that it'd be about women who DO want children but haven't been able to have them for whatever circumstance. I also knew it'd be about older single women (30's and 40's) which is why the book appealed to me. I do s I don't normally write reviews for books but I feel I had to say something about this book as I feel it has been marketed in a weird way. I am admittedly not the main demographic for the book: I am 24 and never want to have children by choice. I knew from reading the book's description that it'd be about women who DO want children but haven't been able to have them for whatever circumstance. I also knew it'd be about older single women (30's and 40's) which is why the book appealed to me. I do share one trait with these women: I'm single and sometimes it's hard to cope with that when everyone seems to be paired off. I went to a dinner party recently where EVERYONE had a significant other and I was the only single person there. It was a jarring experience for me as I'm only 24! But it's beginning......I'm starting to stick out like a sore thumb as the singleton. I also live alone and sometimes grapple with feeling lonely because of that. But I prefer living alone so I cope with the loneliness in my own way. Going Solo by Eric Klinenberg is a book I'd recommend for those who grapple with this issue. Anyways, this book is mostly about rich, white women in NYC who are in their late 30's or 40's. The way they talk about feminism is horrible and made me roll my eyes repeatedly. It was difficult to relate to these rich, white women who live glamourous lives because I am not rich or white or privileged in the ways they are. This book would have been MUCH better if they had expanded the stories to include women who are poor or middle class, women of colour, women who live in small towns (not just glitzy NYC) or smaller cities, women of all occupations, and I could go on. There are women of all sorts out there who are approaching menopause and have not had a chance to get married and have children. This book was too narrow in scope. There were only a few tidbits I liked, hence the two star rating instead of one star.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Melanie Notkin is the author of the Savvy Auntie book, blog and brand. She champions the role of childless women as fabulous aunts to their biological nieces and nephews, godchildren and any children that they love. I loved the whole Savvy Auntie bit and assumed I would love this book, too. Otherhood is about women who are not mothers because they never found the right man to father their children. As they move toward menopause, they are still single. They face the same griefs and misunderstandi Melanie Notkin is the author of the Savvy Auntie book, blog and brand. She champions the role of childless women as fabulous aunts to their biological nieces and nephews, godchildren and any children that they love. I loved the whole Savvy Auntie bit and assumed I would love this book, too. Otherhood is about women who are not mothers because they never found the right man to father their children. As they move toward menopause, they are still single. They face the same griefs and misunderstandings as the rest of us childless women, with the added stress of never having been married. This is a subject that was dying to be explored and I couldn’t wait to read the book. Notkin is a good writer, and it’s not a bad book, but I was disappointed because the whole thing centered around her and her friends in New York. They all seem to be age 35 to 45. They’re gorgeous and have great careers. They hobnob with celebrities and go out for drinks a lot. It’s very Sex-and-The City. They anguish over not being able to find a good man who is willing to commit to marriage and children. They talk about IVF and egg-freezing. They rage about the stupid comments of ignorant people who don’t understand why they don’t just have a baby on their own. They grieve their empty wombs, and they wonder if they should have paid less attention to their careers and tried harder to find husbands. These women’s stories are important, but what about the rest of us who are older or younger, fat or ugly, poor, uneducated, or come from another country? What about the unmarried woman who sits at home watching TV every night in some rural town where the only nightlife is a high school football game? What about the 80-year-old man who has never married or had kids and now finds himself alone as all his friends are dying? This book is well-written,

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    A much needed authentic and relatable voice expressing the common experience of single women everywhere who have been frustrated in their desire and efforts to find lasting love in which to create a family and have children. I appreciated the author's courage and vulnerability in writing about this oft hushed topic, and validation of those who feel invisible and outside the media recognized mainstream life of marriage and children. I strongly suspect that many of the negative reviews come from t A much needed authentic and relatable voice expressing the common experience of single women everywhere who have been frustrated in their desire and efforts to find lasting love in which to create a family and have children. I appreciated the author's courage and vulnerability in writing about this oft hushed topic, and validation of those who feel invisible and outside the media recognized mainstream life of marriage and children. I strongly suspect that many of the negative reviews come from those who, as the author notes, have perhaps bowed to social pressure to marry those they either didn't love or were not well suited for, to achieve the acceptable social status of being married and to have children, and are perhaps in unhappy partnerships and unable to appreciate the view from the other side. As much as one might want children, marrying the wrong person in order to have them is a sacrifice most of us still single are not willing to make. Not to mention the incredible difficulty of intentionally becoming a single mother without a loving partnership to support parenting, both emotionally and financially. Also, I don't know what sort of marketing some of these readers saw, but it was very clear to me that this book speaks to and for women who wanted children, and not those childfree by choice. The only aspect of the book that slightly rubbed me the wrong way was that I did feel, as some of the other reviewers did, that there was a bit of excessive name dropping. Perhaps the author felt this would help lend legitimacy to her writing. However, this was not enough to overshadow the accomplishment and purpose of this much needed book which shone through. Bravo Melanie Notkin!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I identified with bits and pieces of this book, though I'm still in my 20s and have never even been to NYC, but I couldn't finish it. Partly it was too depressing (rather than hopeful as the blurbs and reviews suggested - there is no "New Kind of Happiness" to be found). Partly there was too much focus on meaningless sex and physical pleasure instead of becoming well-rounded women, regardless of marital status. Partly because, frankly, I could see how some of the choices the women featured made I identified with bits and pieces of this book, though I'm still in my 20s and have never even been to NYC, but I couldn't finish it. Partly it was too depressing (rather than hopeful as the blurbs and reviews suggested - there is no "New Kind of Happiness" to be found). Partly there was too much focus on meaningless sex and physical pleasure instead of becoming well-rounded women, regardless of marital status. Partly because, frankly, I could see how some of the choices the women featured made did make it harder for them to find a spouse, despite wanting one. I admire their refusal to settle just to settle - I too would rather remain single than be stuck in an unhappy marriage or end up getting divorced - at the same time, some of their standards were selfish, and more than a bit ridiculous.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bollinger

    This book is awful. I was hoping to read an empowering, alternative story about women who are living childfree lives with passion, creativity, and zeal. I was looking for new approaches to defining community, and new insight about how self-aware, powerful women change the world. Instead I found a pathetic "author" making sweeping generalizations about all women without children based on no formal research, and claiming to be the premier voice of the "Otherhood". She sounds desperate and complete This book is awful. I was hoping to read an empowering, alternative story about women who are living childfree lives with passion, creativity, and zeal. I was looking for new approaches to defining community, and new insight about how self-aware, powerful women change the world. Instead I found a pathetic "author" making sweeping generalizations about all women without children based on no formal research, and claiming to be the premier voice of the "Otherhood". She sounds desperate and completely caught up in her white, wealthy, straight, cis gender, Sex in the City bubble. She certainly does not speak for the diverse demographic of women without children by chance or by choice. This was such a disappointment.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Juliana

    Reads like sex and the city or some article in Glamour magazine. It made some nice points,but overall I'm just rolling my eyes. Reads like sex and the city or some article in Glamour magazine. It made some nice points,but overall I'm just rolling my eyes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Poorly written. Self-indulgent and self-contradicting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Wow. I have 20 pages to go and really hope there is some good message at the end of this. Most depressing book and not the positive stuff that was promised or what the reviews said!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julie Bestry

    While reading this book, I had a profound sense of three things: sadness, truth, and annoyance. Unlike All the Single Ladies which I was reading a month or so ago, which was sort of anthropological, socioeconomic, and historical reporting, this book is feels more like a memoirish blog. That earlier book was about all single women — and the issues of agency, financial control, loneliness, interdependence, political klout, yadda yadda. This book is right in the Melanie Notkin (aka: Savvy Auntie) wh While reading this book, I had a profound sense of three things: sadness, truth, and annoyance. Unlike All the Single Ladies which I was reading a month or so ago, which was sort of anthropological, socioeconomic, and historical reporting, this book is feels more like a memoirish blog. That earlier book was about all single women — and the issues of agency, financial control, loneliness, interdependence, political klout, yadda yadda. This book is right in the Melanie Notkin (aka: Savvy Auntie) wheelhouse, and it's personal to her and her friends, but it purports to speak to (and about) a particularly type of woman: an "older" woman, late 30s and/or 40s, without a spouse or child and not wishing to be lacking either. But it frames these very real, human issues within a very narrow populace, and ignores all who fall outside her social circle parameters. The first two thirds of the book, it's like a bad spec script for Sex and the City, but without any humor. The few experts interviewed, the (composite) friends and their conversations described, the bad boys and the seemingly nice but judgmental men…it's all shallow and relentlessly stereotypical. Everyone (except the faceless, last-name-less waiters in the fancy bars and restaurants the author frequents) is white collar, upper-middle class, well-educated, NYC-dwelling, almost always white, and is so entitled, it inspires nausea. The first chapter of a book I'm expecting to be about a life that reflects mine, given the blurb and publicity, is actually about all these women complaining about all these men who are unable to plan a date, meet women in their (the women's) neighborhoods of NYC or mid-way, make reservations, or dress up nicely for a date. It's ridiculously elitist, whiney, and shallow. I tossed the book across the room a few times. It continues like this for a long time, long enough that I can imagine most serious readers who don't find it reasonable to spent $300 on a pair of shoes would have turned to the next book in their reading pile. I found that aspect of the book to be embarrassing to women, and an insult in general. Notkin goes to all this trouble to write about women who have professional and personal success, aren't hobbled by personal baggage, and have reason to believe that love, marriage and children should, or at least could, be in their future, and she excludes the vast majority of women in this situation in America — in the world. I understand that she wrote about her friends, but could she really have not envisioned that there are Asian-American women or Latinas, or rural women, or women who live in the South or the Mid-West, or anywhere where a "man" isn't defined as a professional who wears a suit every day and to every "real" date? Her characters bemoan men that treat romantic partners as friends or "buddies," and ignore that it's even possible that many, many women are seeking a romantic partner who is exactly that. Picking up the check? Opening doors? Planning dates? There's not a SINGLE mention in this book regarding finding a partner with shared political or social values, reading habits, or hobbies. Just, do they dress nicely, plan dates, and and want babies! Annoying as all of this is (and is SO is), the basic premise of the book, all the way through, is TRUE. I'll save you the trouble of reading the book; these are the finer points: 1) We date our age cohorts in our 20s. We're all mostly seeking the same thing, fun, though a "special someone" would be nice. 2) As women age into their 30s, most men are still not seeking to settle down, but women are reminded, starting about 27, that their biological clocks are ticking. By 30, doctors appointments are depressing because we get nagged about fertility. So women, no matter how much they are focusing on their careers, start thinking even more about not just having fun on dates, but finding a potential life partner. We're not unaware, and yet every year, single women are "blamed" —they must be too picky, or they must not be aware that their fertility is ebbing away. But women who "admit" (as if this is a confessional statement) that they would like to marry for love and have children are seen as "desperate." OK, true. 3) Guys don't generally get there until later. By the time they do, in their late 30s and then in their 40s, they don't want to date women who are their age co-horts. This breaks down into: 3a) They mostly want to date women who DO want to have babies with them, but not the women they've been dating, because they're intimated by strong, professional women. (Not my experience, because I don't hobnob with immature, coddled men. But, fine. Whatever. I won't doubt her experience.) These men start dating girls in their 20s, who are more awed by the men (and, likely, their 10 years of earning experience). 3b) These men often leave (or secretly cheat on) their age cohort girlfriends because of this, and often marry the younger women and have babies with them, even if their age cohort girlfriends emotionally and financially supported their growth. (OK, yes, that happens.) 3c) Women in their late 30s and 40s are in a weird position because men call them "desperate" if they admit that yes, they are looking for serious commitments and do eventually want to get married and have kids. But men are also offended when women don't want to keep dating men who don't have a goal of marriage and children, because instead of seeing women as being focused on their goals, yes, their "desperate." Men who want these things are considered focused. 4) It seems like everyone (married women, as well as married men and single men, and even Donny Deutsch!) tell these late 30s and 40s women that they should do the following: 4a) Forget falling in love and just marry anyone so they can have those babies they want. It's considered being too picky to want to love the person who you marry if you've made it to that old without having your option picked up, in Hollywood terms. ;-) 4b) You're told that you should freeze your eggs, or go ahead and get pregnant, because if you REALLY wanted to be a mother, doing it on your own (even if you can't afford it, even if you have no emotional or structural support, even if you don't want to do it on your own, even if you believe children having two parents is optimal) shouldn't be an impediment. 4c) You should give up, because nobody your age is going to date you, and you should be satisfied dating men in their 50s and 60s. 5) Meanwhile, women have been getting educations, building their careers, showing love to their nieces and nephews and their friends's kids (hence Notkin's Savvy Auntie brand), becoming entrepreneurs, writing their books, going to yoga, buying their own condos, yadda yadda, NOT waiting for a man to fulfill them, to make them whole, but still wanting love, and wondering, how "the heck did I get here?" And knowing, based on everything that everyone says to them, in well-meaning ways, that everyone assumes that since they're so fabulous, they've somehow done something wrong or else they'd get to where everyone else has gotten. That's the true part. And the sad part. I suspect that even if you're not an upper-middle class, white collar, NYC, condo-dwelling woman, you may still find that much of the above resonates. By the last third of the book, Notkin has mostly thrown off her twee descriptions of her composite friends, her paragraph-long descriptions of their outfits and their drink orders and the mascara, and she gets down to the emotional burden of feeling like you're alone in all of these even though the statistics prove otherwise. (She finally gets to some medical experts, the first experts in the book who don't seem egregiously charicaturized, to bring this point home.) The end strives to be hopeful, but it's a chipper, Facebook-faux, "yes, we may not have what we want but we want what we have" imprimateur on life. If you feel like you're alone, and you are shocked to see your personal truths expressed here, then maybe you will like this book. Honestly, I think it would be better to hand this book to the people who say insensitive things to you about why you are not married and don't have children.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

    The more of this book I read, the more I realized I hated it. I had to laugh when the author talked about "Lean in" feminism. Obviously I am reading this a few years down the road but if there is one thing these two books have in common it is a huge lack of intersectionality. This book was so specifically about white, rich, successful, beautiful, "fabulous" women in NYC (with one woman briefly mentioned who was Black, rich, successful, beautiful and fabulous), and it is drilled into the reader The more of this book I read, the more I realized I hated it. I had to laugh when the author talked about "Lean in" feminism. Obviously I am reading this a few years down the road but if there is one thing these two books have in common it is a huge lack of intersectionality. This book was so specifically about white, rich, successful, beautiful, "fabulous" women in NYC (with one woman briefly mentioned who was Black, rich, successful, beautiful and fabulous), and it is drilled into the reader that these are the most important things you can be. - There is no mention of women who want kids but are not financially/ professionally "successful" (and hello it's New York not everyone is rich, she could have found some people) enough to have them -There is no mention of the fact that not everyone has an option to have kids later in life wether they want to or not because not everyone comes from a place of such financial privilege (including their parent's money). -There is an extremely brief mention of adoption, but the author basically blows it off -No mention of finding the love of your life but not agreeing on having children -no mention of Queer people and how they might cope with these feelings -essentially no intersectionality at all basically this is the author whining for 250ish pages that she hasn't found the love of her life. She is willing to accept zero responsibility in this, blaming men and younger women (who are not as impressively professional and are mere nurses, teachers and social workers *eyeroll*). I don't think you should settle, and I totally get that meeting the right person and falling in love is easier said than done. But as other reviewers have mentioned, she is only interested in men who have the same religion as her (totally fair and understandable) are " professional" (clearly to a certain standard as a school principal was looked down on) , "courts" her and drinks brown drinks (????) and wants babies and a bunch of hallmark movie moments. It's like she binged watched some rom coms and decided that's what she wants. She also scoffs at fat, bald men which shook me. She just comes across as incredibly entitled, shallow and whiny throughout the entire book. I would have loved to read about this as more of an "interviews with all different women about their feelings on not being mothers, either by choice or not" kind of book, but even when she talks about other women the focus is really on the author. And all the women she talks to seem the same as her anyway. I made it most of the way through but holy smokes, enough is enough. Also she badly needs so read some feminist lit written by some who isn't white. Hopefully she has educated herself since writing this problematic much. So much wasted potential, this book had an interesting premise and in my opinion it was totally wasted in an effort to gain some self promotion and pity. boo.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I know...it's 4th of July and I just finished my book....I'm a party animal! Yes, I am a single woman. Yes, I just devoted the last three years of my life to getting my Masters and moving across the country to better my career. No, I am not a "career woman". Melanie Notkin discusses how women today are being categorized as "career women" and that they are "choosing to be childless" simply because they are excelling at their careers and don't have a significant other or family yet. Her main focus I know...it's 4th of July and I just finished my book....I'm a party animal! Yes, I am a single woman. Yes, I just devoted the last three years of my life to getting my Masters and moving across the country to better my career. No, I am not a "career woman". Melanie Notkin discusses how women today are being categorized as "career women" and that they are "choosing to be childless" simply because they are excelling at their careers and don't have a significant other or family yet. Her main focus is on women aged 35+, but her second to last chapter contains conversations she had with women in their late 20s that are already experiencing these classifications. The chapters in the book all consist of conversations Notkin has had with women of the Otherhood, strangers in restaurants or at parties, and men she and Otherhood women were dating. It is interesting to see "career women"/older, single women/circumstantially childless women from all of these different points of view. From conversations about freezing eggs, to dating, from being the best aunt possible until having her own kids, to accepting the possibility of never becoming a biological mother, Notkin covers a lot of situations and emotions. Many of the older women Notkin talks to discuss horrible dates where men believe they are simply desperate for children, men that are nice, but unwilling to date women over a certain age or even have children, and family and friends claiming the women are simply too picky and that's why they are still single. Having heard the line numerous times myself, I sympathize with those that have gotten the "how/why are you still single?!" As if something is wrong with me for not having found the right person to love, yet. For those of you that haven't heard my thoughts on this question, here they are: I find that question to be rude and a bit insulting. I understand, the person asking it isn't trying to be snide, rude, or insulting; but next time you are about to ask that of someone in your life (male or female), I ask you to reconsider. You don't know all the situations in their life. They deserve the same chance as anyone to find the right person to love. The same goes for someone saying that your standards are too high or you're being too picky. Choosing to let someone into your life in that capacity, someone to love (hopefully) forever is a big, life altering decision. You have a right to be picky! I also feel this way about the questions "So, when are you two getting married?!" or "When are you two going to have kids?!" Again, you don't know the situations in that couple's private life... Yes, the Otherhood can be lonely sometimes, but that doesn't mean women of the Otherhood are alone. They have friends, family, nieces, and nephews to surround them and fill their lives with love. One thing I noticed about the women of the Otherhood throughout this book was that they all had their ups and downs, their joys and their doubts, but they never lost faith and hope that their happy ending was out there. And until that happy ending came along, they were content filling their lives with the family and friends nearest and dearest to them. Overall, I enjoyed this book. I realize, only being in my late 20s, I am not necessarily in the demographic that Notkin was focusing on; but even in my late 20s, I've still experienced some of the emotions and conversations women of the Otherhood have. I would recommend this book to people that have women like this in their lives. It gives a few perspectives on different thoughts and emotions women of the Otherhood are experiencing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I spent a lot of time this weekend reading the book Otherhood. It's a very easy read, and I thought it was worthwhile. It combines elements of memoir and self-help, along with lots of anecdotes about other people's lives -- the author's girlfriends, guy friends, and acquaintances. The main point is to counteract the notion that women who have gotten into their 40s and have not been married and/or had kids have wasted their lives and are not living fulfilled lives. And that they are to blame. She I spent a lot of time this weekend reading the book Otherhood. It's a very easy read, and I thought it was worthwhile. It combines elements of memoir and self-help, along with lots of anecdotes about other people's lives -- the author's girlfriends, guy friends, and acquaintances. The main point is to counteract the notion that women who have gotten into their 40s and have not been married and/or had kids have wasted their lives and are not living fulfilled lives. And that they are to blame. She argues that these women's lives are valid, just as they are. It's not their fault that they haven't found a love partner and haven't been able to have children. Stereotypes like the "career woman" are outdated and unhelpful. -- I agree with her take on these points and think that her overall message is healthy. There are also negative aspects of the book. There is quite a bit of man-bashing in the book. The women are all beautiful, have great careers, have lived responsibly, and the men have failed them. Men are mostly portrayed as flaky or irresponsible or deceptive. Another negative aspect is that the book only deals with women who are exactly like her: privileged, well-educated, rather wealthy Manhattanites. It's a limited slice of life that she presents. I also think she exaggerates the statistic, which she repeats again and again, about the number of American women who are unmarried and childless. It's 50% of the women in their childbearing years. -- That includes quite a few teenagers and women in their 20s, who aren't really a part of the group that she's arguing on behalf of. Her focus is late 30s/early 40s women. The number of women in that demographic who have never had children may be growing, but it's not 50% of all American women. The last few chapters were depressing: about how hard it is to get pregnant once you hit your late 30s, various women's struggles with that, attempts to use IVF, to freeze their eggs (a discussion that recurred throughout the book, although I must say I know nothing about it and have never heard any friend of mine talk about it!). Nevertheless, I did find the stories about dating to be fascinating. She has a lot of experience, and she also got a lot of juicy stories from her friends. I also found fascinating some of the conversations she records analyzing why it has been so difficult for women like her to find a mate, why men of that age are not interested in dating that age group of women. I also identified with her desire to find a loving relationship that enriches her life, and to have children only in that context.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura (Book Scrounger)

    This book wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be. The description made it sound like journalism, but it really isn't. At least that's the impression I got from lines like: "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." I don't remember reading a whole lot about that. Perhaps simply because my idea of "our society" is not limited to successful New York Ci This book wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be. The description made it sound like journalism, but it really isn't. At least that's the impression I got from lines like: "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." I don't remember reading a whole lot about that. Perhaps simply because my idea of "our society" is not limited to successful New York City businesswomen. This book is basically "Sex and the City: Childless Edition." It revolves around the author and her friends in New York City who are in their late 30s to early 40s, and childless, whether through infertility, or simply not being able to find a man they felt they could love, while living in the most populous city in the USA. So while she purports to be a leading voice for nearly half the female population, her sample size may not be as representative of our society as she thinks it is. It's not that I would discount the fact that these women's stories are important, and I can certainly understand reaching a point of annoyance at all the questions, and feeling the unfair sting of not being a mother by a certain age, which I'm sure only gets worse toward the end of fertility. These voices are worth listening to... I just felt that the limitations of the book's scope made them seem more repetitive than they really were. I got a little tired of hearing about egg freezing, and about how fabulous all these women are, and the complaining about how they can't manage to find a man in NYC. To her credit, the author is a good writer. She does well at setting the scene, and incorporating different voices into a conversation in order to advance the theme at hand. And some of the chapters were really good, and did move me. The story of the woman whose significant other led her along for years saying he wanted children, and then left her near the end of her fertility was heartbreaking. I just found the book as a whole to be overly self-involved, and presented as having much more scope than it actually does. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through GoodReads' First Reads. I was not required to write a positive review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Char

    A new perspective on single women who haven't had children (yet), because they haven't yet found "Mr. Right."....that's what this book gave me, a new perspective. The idea for the book is great--yes, it's based in a privileged and niche urban environment full of " upper class " women who have successful careers--however the book is definitely insightful on many levels, and I could identify many of my friends/acquaintances/colleagues in this book, though we are middle class women. The book is an A new perspective on single women who haven't had children (yet), because they haven't yet found "Mr. Right."....that's what this book gave me, a new perspective. The idea for the book is great--yes, it's based in a privileged and niche urban environment full of " upper class " women who have successful careers--however the book is definitely insightful on many levels, and I could identify many of my friends/acquaintances/colleagues in this book, though we are middle class women. The book is an easy read, I was excited every night to come home from work to resume being a fly on the wall of the fabulous lives of these privileged (on multiple levels, my goodness) single women. I guess it felt like fiction sometimes (many "sex and the city" type references) reading about their ridiculously amazing lives and networks, and because the vast majority of people are not on their economic and status level, this resulted in a lot of low ratings. I give it a high rating because the author shared her and her inner/outer circles' challenges and brought to light a much needed conversation about what is becoming a much larger phenomenon. kudos to her and I hope she will explore/collaborate with other class (and racial/ethnic) levels from her savvy auntie website, which can result in a more encompassing book.

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