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I read somewhere that the definition of insanity is to be able to hold two contradictory beliefs in your mind at the same time and believe both equally. That's where Maxed Out left me. Half of me really agreed with the thesis that the American system (as opposed to Sweden which is portrayed as a working parents' Nirvana) is broken and working mothers are set up to fail.
The other half of my mind found Katrina Alcorn an over-priveleged whiner who had a great spouse, healthy kids, owned her own home, full health insurance for whole family debt free except the mortgage, high-paying, creative job (where demands such as having to review project proposals wete viewed as mind-breaking stress. Really?) Fantastic, understanding boss who loved her. Got her daughter in one of the very, very few good public schools in the East Bay. (I live here too.) Got invited to the Ted Conference. Had to sacrifice mommy yoga, making organic baby food, and cloth diapers when she returned to her job where she was highly valued and over praised and allowed to work a four day week. AND WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT?
So, a dilemma. I think the subject is worthy, but I didn't buy Katrina Alcorn as the poster child for the working mother. (Though she is quite childish in places...) I found myself thinking most women I know would love to have her problems. But these are women with real problems - addicted kids, cancer either in themselves or close family members, unemployment, houses in foreclosure, etc. I look forward to more reviews to see what others think. The book is well written and supported by interesting sociological research. More interesting than the author's story, in fact.
24 of 28 people found this review helpful
Where does Maxed Out rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This book is a stand-out work of non-fiction. It not only tells you the author's personal story, but it provides structure and perspective from outside sources. And beyond that it gives you a message of hope and purpose.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
As a full-time working mother, I swear this could have been my narrative spoken straight from my lips. I had experienced my breaking point not two weeks before I stumbled upon this book. It helped me so much to know that I wasn't alone.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful