Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Bitch is Back

No, this isn't a post about how I've gotten my groove back, sadly. But it's a follow up book to The Bitch is in the House, but you don't need to read the first to read this. Calm down!

The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier 

More than a decade after the New York Times bestselling anthology The Bitch in the House spoke up loud and clear for a generation of young women, nine of the original contributors are back—along with sixteen captivating new voices—sharing their ruminations from an older, stronger, and wiser perspective about love, sex, work, family, independence, body-image, health, and aging: the critical flash points of women’s lives today.

"Born out of anger," the essays in The Bitch in the House chronicled the face of womanhood at the beginning of a new millennium. Now those funny, smart, passionate contributors—today less bitter and resentful, and more confident, competent, and content—capture the spirit of post feminism in this equally provocative, illuminating, and compelling companion anthology.

Having aged into their forties, fifties, and sixties, these "bitches"—bestselling authors, renowned journalists, and critically acclaimed novelists—are back . . . and better than ever. In The Bitch Is Back, Cathi Hanauer, Kate Christensen, Sarah Crichton, Debora Spar, Ann Hood, Veronica Chambers, and nineteen other women offer unique views on womanhood and feminism today. Some of the "original bitches" (OBs) revisit their earlier essays to reflect on their previous selves. All reveal how their lives have changed in the intervening years—whether they stayed coupled, left marriages, or had affairs; developed cancer or other physical challenges; coped with partners who strayed, died, or remained faithful; became full-time wage earners or homemakers; opened up their marriages; remained childless or became parents; or experienced other meaningful life transitions.

As a "new wave" of feminists begins to take center stage, this powerful, timely collection sheds a much-needed light on both past and present, offering understanding, compassion, and wisdom for modern women’s lives, all the while pointing toward the exciting possibilities of tomorrow. 

The great thing about books like this one is that every chapter is an essay so it so easy to read this book in between errands, coffee break, kid nap time, whenever. I flew through this book and found myself relating to some of the essays and not so much with others, but they were all equally good in their own right. I never got the chance to read the first book but after reading this one, I have to get the first one because I think I can really relate to that one at this point in my life more than I can with this one. This one is now geared towards women in their 40's and beyond, phasing out of active parenting, looking at or entering retirement, going through different life transitions, etc. I'm still in the thick of a relatively young marriage, four kids, still hoping Social Security stays around because right now I'll never get to retire. 

The other great thing about this book is that it really covers almost every scenario women face. The only thing that kind of stood out to me is that aside from the one essay where the writer lives just above poverty, everyone else seems like they are financially well off and as someone who doesn't know what that would be like, it's hard for me to relate to them and their problems. Which sounds silly, I know. 

Every essay is expertly written and each have their own unique voice where it feels like you're sitting in a circle listening to everyone just vent and let it out over good dessert. This would make for a fun book club read and have each participant share which essay they relate the most to and why, particularly if your club has a wide range of ages. 

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

The universality of women's experiences regardless of their background is something that always amazes me.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!