The Bitch in the House: women tell the truth about sex, solitude, work, motherhood, and marriage, edited by Cathi Hanauer

 As Cathi Hanauer, the editor of The Bitch in the House, explains, “This book was born out of anger…which stemmed from a combination of guilt, resentment, exhaustion, naivete, and the chaos of my life at the time.”  Sharing her thoughts and feelings about her situation in late night e-mails to friends brought her to the realizations that a) many women were facing the same struggles and that b) she was gaining comfort and insight from these conversations.   These realizations led her to approach women she knew and knew of, with the idea of writing essays about their own personal choices and struggles. 

The Bitch in the House book contains 26 essays.  The CD-Audio of this title consists of 15 of these essays.  I found that listening to the authors read their own essays, with the intended inflections, provided a richer experience of their work than just reading the written word.

As I listened, I was repeatedly struck by the brutal honesty of the writers.  One woman provides a list of the reasons why she will never marry.  Another woman describes how her dreamy relationship turned into a nightmare after the wedding.  One essayist writes about her relationships with married men.   A mother reveals that she sometimes becomes enraged when dealing with her children.   Each of the writers shared thoughts and feelings which resonated with me.  I would recommend this title to any woman who seeks out and derives benefit from heart-to-heart conversations with other women.

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