When Cheryl Jarvis was thirty-six, a wife, mother and TV producer, she was asked to work halfway across the country for three months. After pleas from her sons, she declined the offer but made an unsettling discovery: She had really wanted to live and work alone for a while. She had really wanted to go. Twelve years later, she made another discovery: A dream deferred did not mean a dream diminished.
The Marriage Sabbatical begins as her story, an absorbing account of her three months away from home and the powerful discoveries made as a result. But it is far more than a personal narrative. Based on her interviews with fifty-five women, Jarvis breaks new ground as she asks a bold and to some a radical question: What happens when married women take some time and space away?
The Marriage Sabbatical is a journalistic exploration of married women leaving home to pursue a dream, conquer a challenge, nurture a talent, or find themselves. They hike the Appalachian Trail, drive cross-country, teach overseas, join a dig. In solitude they paint, write or study. Eloquently describing how desire becomes a departure date, how women reconcile their decision with family obligations, and finally, how they come home again, Jarvis examines what a marriage sabbatical means in the context of a committed relationship, explores its role as a catalyst for personal and marital growth, and provides new understanding of the psychological conflicts it stirs.
Placing married women "leaving home" in the larger context of female independence, Cheryl Jarvis proposes that a married woman's need for time away from her husband is not a dismissal of him but a redefining experience for her.
Describing a concrete and creative way that some women have found to keep both their marriages and themselves, she shows how nurturing individual dreams can strengthen self, enliven relationship, and modernize an age-old institution. For the women you'll meet in this moving book, a marriage sabbatical is a planned and finite period of time in which to leave their ordinary world for an extraordinary experience, a journey ultimately meaning not only rejuvenation but empowerment.
In this fresh and inspiring book, freelance journalist Jarvis provides a comprehensive, thoughtful and inspiring look at how married women can love and care for their families and still find a concentrated period of time to invest in realizing their dreams.
Library Journal - Pam Matthews
Because this book is interesting, well written, and truly heartfelt and because Redbook has already printed a condensed version this book is highly recommended for public libraries.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
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