All The Rage: Mothers, Fathers and the Myth of Equal Partnership by Darcy Lockman | Harper | Book Review

All The Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership

All The Rage: Darcy Lockman

Book Summary:

Journalist-turned-psychologist Darcy Lockman offers a clear-eyed look at the most pernicious problem facing modern parents—how progressive relationships become traditional ones when children are introduced into the household.

In an era of seemingly unprecedented feminist activism, enlightenment, and change, data shows that one area of gender inequality stubbornly persists: the disproportionate amount of parental work that falls to women, no matter their background, class, or professional status. All the Rage investigates the cause of this pervasive inequity to answer why, in households where both parents work full-time and agree that tasks should be equally shared, mothers’ household management, mental labor, and childcare contributions still outweigh fathers’. 

How, in a culture that pays lip service to women’s equality and lauds the benefits of father involvement—benefits that extend far beyond the well-being of the kids themselves—can a commitment to fairness in marriage melt away upon the arrival of children?

Counting on male partners who will share the burden, women today have been left with what political scientists call unfulfilled, rising expectations. Historically these unmet expectations lie at the heart of revolutions, insurgencies, and civil unrest. If so many couples are living this way, and so many women are angered or just exhausted by it, why do we remain so stuck? Where is our revolution, our insurgency, our civil unrest?

Darcy Lockman drills deep to find answers, exploring how the feminist promise of true domestic partnership almost never, in fact, comes to pass. Starting with her own marriage as a ground zero case study, she moves outward, chronicling the experiences of a diverse cross-section of women raising children with men; visiting new mothers’ groups and pioneering co-parenting specialists; and interviewing experts across academic fields, from gender studies professors and anthropologists to neuroscientists and primatologists. Lockman identifies three tenets that have upheld the cultural gender division of labor and peels back the ways in which both men and women unintentionally perpetuate old norms.

If we can all agree that equal pay for equal work should be a given, can the same apply to unpaid work? Can justice finally come home?

Publication Date:

May 5th, 2019

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

I listened to All The Rage on Audible and wow, what a powerful read! Darcy Lockman shares a well researched and relatable look at social expectations, male privilege, and sexism when it comes to parenting in the 21st century. Lockman uses studies, research, interviews with parents, and her own personal experiences which results in a well balanced and deeply impactful look at the gender inequity that working mothers still face today and the mental load women face as mothers.

Who Should Read This?

Whether you are a parent or thinking about becoming one someday, this book is so insightful and thought-provoking. I appreciated Lockman’s personal experiences as they related to many issues we faced in our own experiences as partners and parents. While many people think “this won’t happen to me” a large percentage of family’s fall into the expectations that have become ingrained in our society.

Lockman shares…

“In the language of family studies, women and men do not develop the same ‘parental consciousness’ when they transition into mother- and fatherhood; they continue on separate and unequal paths of knowing or not knowing as their children change and grow. Parental consciousness is the awareness of the needs of children accompanied by the steady process of thinking about those needs. Women have come to call it the mental load, and in those relatively egalitarian households where men share daycare pickup and put away clean laundry, it’s the aspect of childrearing most likely…to ‘stimulate marital tension between mothers and fathers”

Reactions to All The Rage:

I have loved reading the reviews for this book on Goodreads and they vary greatly. Many shared that this book was depressing, filled with anger, bitterness and/or a dig at men. I did find this book to be hard to listen to at times, but mostly because I wish I had been able to read this before I became a parent! I think anything that makes you feel strongly is wonderful because it gets you thinking.

I learned a lot about why we are the way we are and so much of it has been entrenched in our society and family dynamics for centuries even as women’s roles have changed and evolved so much over time.  It doesn’t matter how much you think “this won’t happen to us!” it is very easy to fall into being the “default” parent once parenthood hits you like a ton of bricks.

I think it is important to state that this doesn’t mean your partner is a terrible person or sits around doing nothing. The emotional labor of motherhood is hard to explain but it is real and many women feel like they are just drowning in it. The invisible mental load of motherhood is often the hardest and because it is hard to “see” it is also the hardest to change.

What We Have Learned So Far…

One of the biggest learning lessons my husband and I have (slowly) figured out during our 9 years of parenting together is that talking about something before it happens is always the way to go. Talking early and talking often is key and allows us to discuss our hopes and expectations before the resentment and disappointment build up because it inevitably will.

When our first son arrived in 2019 we quickly fell into the assumed roles of parenthood with little to no discussion about what that might look or feel like. 9 years later we have worked hard to establish better equity and partnership in our home but deeply ingrained norms are hard to change and the pressures come from outside of the home as well. This is a continued work in progress as our family grows and changes over time. We definitely have it all figured out but we work hard on it every day.

My Takeaway…

I highly recommend this book and would really recommend it for people who are hoping to have a family someday. There is so much power when we have the ability to reflect and make choices proactively. While Lockman didn’t have all the answers, she gives many tools for us to reflect on what we can change and do in our own lives to help with parity and equity in parenthood.

 

 

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand | Little, Brown & Company | Book Review

Elin Hilderbrand, summer reading, beach books

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand 

Book Summary:

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country. 

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.

Publication Date:

June 18th, 2019

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Elin Hilderbrand is not only the queen of summer reading but she is also an auto-read author for me. I remember taking her book The Castaways on our 2009 honeymoon trip to St. John and it was just the beginning of a long love affair with her writing. At that point, I read everything on her backlist and have read every single one of her book releases since then.

Elin Hilderbrand June book releases always signify the unofficial start of summer for me. Summer of ‘69 was released on June 18th but I grabbed it a couple of weeks early in my Book of the Month box and couldn’t wait to dive in.

I knew going into it that this book would be a little different than her others. While it was still set on the beautiful island of Nantucket, she took us back to 1969 in her first historical fiction novel. I always love reading the authors notes at the beginning of books and Hilderbrand shared that Summer of ’69 was in honor of her 50th birthday, and I loved that connection so much.

Summer of ’69 delivered with Hilderbrand’s gift of the summer beach read while also diving into some historic events like the lunar landing, The Vietnam War and Chappaquiddick.

We meet the Levin family and with this, there is a personal look at feminist issues, the civil rights movement and the life changes and transitions for this family. This book was packed full of powerful moments but was also an enjoyable coming of age story. There were many different personalities and perspectives in this story which made it feel multifaceted while also being a completely engrossing read.

Having grown up in the 80s and 90s I couldn’t connect personally with this time period but she was able to bring me right there with her vivid details and ability to connect the music and other pop culture of this time in history. I highly recommend adding this to your summer reading list!

I can’t wait for the 2nd installment of her Paradise series later this year…and am so happy I don’t have to wait another year for more Hilderbrand writing! If you haven’t checked out the first book in this new trilogy, Winter in Paradise is also a great summer read and What Happens in Paradise will be released in October!

 

 

June 25th New Book Releases | Happy Publication Day!

June 25th Book Releases

summer reading list

New Book Releases:

June has had some amazing new book releases and it isn’t over yet! If you are still looking for some fiction books to add to your summer reading list, you are in luck! This week there is a great mix of suspense, romance, and contemporary fiction being released, sure to meet your own summer reading desires.

Reading Choices Based on the Season

Just like with any other kind of media, everyone has very different ideas of what is preferable.  My reading definitely changes by the season and there are books genres I tend to read more this time of the year than in the winter for instance. The pace of life, the weather, and my workload all play into what my preferences are for reading.

What Does Summer Reading Mean to YOU?

During the spring and summer, I tend to pick books that are a little more fast paced. I like books that are easier to pick up and put down in shorter spurts of time and so they need to be engaging enough to keep my interest. Family dramas or fiction books that are meant to savor are tougher for me to read this time of year, but I totally love them in January. What about you?!

And Now on to The New Book Releases!

psychological thriller

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

If you are looking for an addicting psychological thriller that will keep you guessing, this is it! I am reading it now and loving it! As you might know, I am quite picky about thrillers and find myself let down by quite a few of them so this is a big compliment! Ha!

Book Genre:

Psychological Thriller/Domestic Thriller

Goodreads Rating:

4.26-star rating

Book Summary:

“CAN SHE ESCAPE THE PERSON SHE ONCE LOVED?

Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been plotting to leave her abusive husband. This is her one chance at freedom—one that requires a new look, new name and new city. Each part of her plan has to be carefully thought out, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only trace of her the police have to go on, and all signs point to foul play.

The detective on the case will stop at nothing to bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? As Beth’s husband starts piecing together her whereabouts, she’ll have to make a decision about her future that will leave readers breathless.”


summer reading

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

Book Genre:

Multigenerational Fiction

Goodreads Rating:

3.84-star rating

Book Summary:

“A dazzling, multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple–still madly in love after forty years–recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they’ve built.

When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family’s becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.”


summer reading list

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

If you are looking for an engaging fiction/romance this is it. I enjoyed that this was a romance book that was actually relatable and the main characters had regular issues they had to acknowledge and address. I appreciated that the issues were not only highlighted but dealt with and this made this book so much stronger. This also added some much-needed depth while also having plenty of light-hearted moments. This was a fun feel-good read that also highlighted many important real-life issues which to me as the reader was a perfect balance! You can read my full review HERE.

Book Genre:

Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Goodreads Rating:

4.21-star rating

Book Summary:

“In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn’t correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy’s childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and he can’t figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.

When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken–and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they’ll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they’ve broken, the plans they’ve changed, and the secrets they’ve kept. They’ll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance–right up until the last out.”


summer reading

How Could She by Lauren Mechling

Book Genre:

Contemporary/Friendship Fiction

Goodreads Rating:

4.21-star rating

Book Summary:

“After a devastating break-up with her fiancé, Geraldine is struggling to get her life back on track in Toronto. Her two old friends, Sunny and Rachel, left ages ago for New York, where they’ve landed good jobs, handsome husbands, and unfairly glamorous lives (or at least so it appears to Geraldine). Sick of watching from the sidelines, Geraldine decides to force the universe to give her the big break she knows she deserves, and moves to New York City. 

As she zigzags her way through the downtown art scene and rooftop party circuit, she discovers how hard it is to find her footing in a world of influencers and media darlings. Meanwhile, Sunny’s life as an It Girl watercolorist is not nearly as charmed as it seemed to Geraldine from Toronto. And Rachel is trying to keep it together as a new mom, writer, and wife–how is it that she was more confident and successful at twenty-five than in her mid-thirties? Perhaps worst of all, why are Sunny and Rachel–who’ve always been suspicious of each other–suddenly hanging out without Geraldine?

Hilarious and fiercely observed, How Could She is an essential novel of female friendship, an insider’s look into the cutthroat world of New York media–from print to podcasting–and a witty exploration of the ways we can and cannot escape our pasts.”


I hope you find something you love from this list! <3