Discussion #1: The Ten Year Nap

Guess what? That’s right – it’s time for our discussion about the first part of the 8th Chicken Lit Bookclub selection, The Ten Year Nap. Up through this point in our reading, we’ve been introduced to 2 of the New York friends, Amy and Jill, as well as Jill’s new acquaintance, Penny. What are your thoughts on the women and the life choices they’ve made? How do you like the author’s round-robin approach in describing these ladies and their backgrounds? Care to tell us what has struck you most in reading the first 6 chapters of the novel?

As always, the Chicken Lit’ers want to know.

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12 Responses to Discussion #1: The Ten Year Nap

  1. Becca says:

    I made it through the first part of the book. It is a slower read than what we have been reading. But I do like how the author is working to do more descriptives of the characters that we have met so far. Another book that seems to have political and anti war undertones, did you find that, too? I am kind of surprised that authors take that risk, but I guess it is in what you get away with. I don’t see how those dropped in comments moved the book forward, though. I feel like I am a person looking through a looking glass at the characters going about their lives. It is almost as though the two that we have met are judging each other based on their own life experiences, and making calls about what is right and wrong based on that. What is with Jill thinking that Amy or anyone hates Nadia? Because Nadia is not born of her body, that makes no sense to me. I wonderif Jill feels like she settled, like she thinks that her mother did and that might have been why she killed herself? And Jill has it in her head that Amy replaced her with Penny because she moved which makes no sense at all.

    I do like the direction, but I do think I need more time to read, it is hard to go through the chapters quickly. I feel like I am missing something and find myself going back to check. How about you?

  2. I’m finding that by listening to it on audio, the author twists and turns almost as if she’s vocalizing each character’s thought process and day-to-day activities. At first, it drove me CRAZY! But I’ve gotten used to it, and now I’m not going back to the book as often to double check on previously stated facts. Although, yes, I do see the inherent anti-war/anti-Republican undertones that you mention, which brings the story to the present reality that we experience as a society today… something that has affected modern-day lifestyle decisions for many. Each of these women seem to be standing in judgement of one another, another thing that’s driving me up the wall.

    As for Jill, she seems to have attachment issues that I think go back to the experience she had with her mother’s suicide. And I do think that she feels that she should’ve had more in life, that the cards she’s been dealt as an adult were not the ones she expected to receive based on her scholarly success as a student. So maybe she also feels betrayed by Amy who has found a new friend with differing values than the ones they shared when she lived in the city. Jill seems to be very confused.

    This one does require more time if we’re going to understand all of the twists, history, etc. I agree w/you on that!

  3. Becca says:

    It looks like it is just you and me reading this one, anyone else?

  4. So far that’s how it looks. I was so anxious to get started that I didn’t spend much time broadcasting book #8. Hopefully we’ll get at least a couple more for book #9 – possibly with another giveaway for incentive. I just bought ‘Certain Girls’ by Jennifer Weiner and would love to go with it, but I’m always open to suggestions!

  5. Becca says:

    I can get that. I also have Odd Mom Out too, and several others. Let me know if you want to go with your choice, that works too. I can get that one on audible.

  6. I’ve already read Odd Mom Out – a really good one. So I’m leaning toward Certain Girls… and ‘Roommates Wanted’ by Lisa Jewell… and ‘The Art of French Kissing’ by Kristin Harmel. Decisions, decisions.

    Back to ‘The Ten Year Nap’, doesn’t it seem odd how Penny and Amy could become so close after what seems like a short encounter at safety duty? Close enough to share the secret of Penny’s affair w/Ian? Or has more time passed than I’m realizing with all of the flashing forward and backward? I can’t imagine spilling beans like that with someone I hardly knew.

  7. Becca says:

    I think that Penny just had to tell someone. I think that she doesn’t have anyone that listens to her. It looks like she just walks through her life. I think that she is as desperate for a friend as Jill is to have one? I wonder if the ten year nap is the span of time Mason has been alive or that the characters feel that they have not accomplished anything or that motherhood or careers or whereever they are in the moment of time is meaningless. They are almost trying to live a life through someone else? Does that make sense?

  8. You’re onto something… it makes sense. And you know what? I just realized that Wolitzer has a pattern going by following each chapter about the women with a chapter about their own mother’s and the circumstances within which they lived while making life decisions. Explains the vantage point more clearly. So far, I can relate to Karen’s situation most.

  9. Becca says:

    Can we please take some extra time with this since it is just the two of us? I haven’t had a chance to jump back in until now. I am enjoying the book.

  10. Absolutely – just let me know when you’ve finished chapter 12. That’s where I am right now, but I’ll work on another one until we’re both at the same place.

  11. Becca says:

    I am up to page 260, did you finish the book?

  12. I’m at 260 with you. Looks like it’s time for discussion #2 – I’ll go ahead and post it now.

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