by Julie HaleOctober, 2006
What Do You Do All Day?
This timely, sophisticated novel tells the story of parents Jennifer and Thom, and what happens to their marriage when work and romance take a backseat to raising children. Jennifer's life changes the most when the kids arrive, as she chooses to give up a successful career in antiques to become a full-time mom. Her two children, toddler Max and five-year-old Georgia, are almost more than she can handle when Thom leaves the country for three months on a business trip. Alone with the kids in New York, Jennifer is left to deal with her meddlesome mother-in-law and with the suspicion that Thom might be having an affair. But she gets support from friends who are in the same boat (known as Stay At Home Moms, or SAHMs), including Angela, a business executive who is fired from her job after she goes on maternity leave, and Sven, a gay swimming teacher who, along with his boyfriend, is raising an adopted Chinese girl. In their own individual ways, each of these sharply drawn, memorable characters faces the same challenge how to strike the right balance between love and work, between personal ambition and the demands of family. Funny and sympathetic, Scheibe writes insightfully about these issues, balancing weighty emotional matters with heavy doses of humor and portraying the ups and downs of motherhood and marriage in a way that's sure to charm readers. A reading group guide is included in the book.