REVIEW: A WINDOW OPENS, BY ELISABETH EGAN

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Alice Pearse and Nicholas Bauer have been married for thirteen years. With three kids—Margo, Oliver, and Georgie—their plates are full. Alice works part-time for a magazine, and Nicholas works for a law firm.They are managing fairly well until Nicholas is told he will not be promoted, so he loses his temper….then quits. Now he will be starting his own practice. But with the loss of his income, Alice must find full-time work.

Her quest leads her to a start-up company that will change the face of the bookish world. Those in charge of the company describe what they hope to accomplish as creating “retail lounges” for readers. And the concept sounds exciting.

Susanna owns a “board and brick” bookstore that will be impacted by this kind of venture. As Alice’s best friend, she feels betrayed and is less than supportive.

Meanwhile, Alice’s dad, who suffered the loss of his larynx due to cancer, has just had some devastating news. How will the family manage to deal with what lies ahead?

How will Alice find her way through the maelstrom of this new normal? Can her demanding new job provide enough extra money to make up for her hours away from the family? Will some new disappointing discoveries about the start-up change Alice’s life, going forward?

As the characters struggled, I found some of them more relatable than others. Yes, Alice had made the choice that would now lead to more new tasks in her life, but I couldn’t help but root for her anyway, while disliking how Nicholas chose to handle his challenges. There were some disturbing signs of trouble that kept me turning pages in eager anticipation of solutions, even as I hoped that the characters would find a way to rise above their difficulties.

As usual, the kids were self-absorbed, acting out over the slightest obstacle in their lives. Margo, especially, on the cusp of adolescence, was annoying and unlikeable at times. I felt impatient with each outburst she displayed. Then there were moments when the kids expressed some understanding and growth. Like a real family struggling with real issues, in the end, I could not help but root for all of them…and I loved how the author brought A Window Opens to conclusion. 5 stars.

***This e-ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

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