Happy Bookers Discussion Group



Next meeting: Wednesday, August 26
at 2:00 pm and 7:00 p.m.

The Ten-Year Nap

by Meg Wolitzer

For a group of four New York friends, the past decade has been largely defined by marriage and motherhood. Educated and reared to believe that they would conquer the world, they then left prestigious jobs to stay home with their babies. What was meant to be a temporary leave of absence has lasted a decade. Now, at age forty, with the halcyon days of young motherhood behind them and without professions to define them, Amy, Jill, Roberta, and Karen face a life that is not what they were brought up to expect but seems to be the one they have chosen. But when Amy meets someone who seems to have fulfilled the classic women's dream of having it all--work, love, family--without having to give anything up, a lifetime's worth of concerns, both practical and existential, opens up. As her obsession with this woman's bustling life grows, it forces the four friends to confront the choices they've made--until a series of startling events shatters the peace and, for some of them, changes the landscape entirely.

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Discussion Questions

Though much of the story is told from the perspective of Amy, her friends, and their families, at times the perspective widens to include all women. What is the purpose of this technique? What is the author trying to convey through its use?

One of the main themes of the novel is the legacy of the feminist movement, with Amy’s mother representing the promise of its early years and Amy and her friends representing its practical result. What, overall, does the novel have to say about feminism? Is the idea of feminism still relevant in today’s society?


While most of the “flashback” chapters deal with the parents of the novel’s main characters, a few focus on real historical and contemporary figures: Margaret Thatcher, Georgette Magritte, Nadia Comaneci. Why do you think the author included these chapters? How do these glimpses of their lives tie into the larger themes of the novel?

Unlike the rest of the book, which is told from the point of view of women, chapter fourteen is told from Amy’s father’s perspective. What is the significance of this chapter? What do you think the author is trying to convey through this character?

Questions excerpted from ReadingGroupGuides.

Links:

Author website

Upcoming Selections:

September - The Graves Are Walking by John Kelly

October - Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

November - Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

 

Happy Bookers selections are chosen by the participants.  Suggest a book for discussion

The Happy Bookers is Phillipsburg Library's monthly book discussion group.  We meet on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Newcomers are always welcome, and no registration is necessary.  Call Deb at 908-454-3712 for more information.

Can't make the meeting? Visit our Happy Bookers Group on Goodreads and add your thoughts there!