When I Grow Up

A Long Weekend With the Girls

cover85169-mediumBook Review – 4 out of 5 stars

I recently had the opportunity to read an advance copy of a novel, Girls’ Weekend, by Cara Sue Achterberg, which is due out May 3. The novel tells the story of three moms who go away for a weekend, and don’t come home.

The three moms have very different lives: Meg is a full time stay at home mom, Dani works from home part time, and Charlotte owns her own business. Despite this fact, I found myself relating to all of them, seeing a little bit of me in each one individually. They struggle with losing their identity, and the ways parenthood changes both the individuals and a marriage. The friends have gotten into predictable routines, perhaps too predictable. You see glimpses of the women they were before children and understand why they have the desire to escape from their lives.

The women plan a girls’ weekend at the beach, but when it is time to go home, Dani says she isn’t going.   The other women follow suit. Of course this causes tension for each of them at home, but they are firm in their commitment to finding themselves again. Now be honest, moms, who hasn’t had fantasies about running away? Not forever, but long enough to recharge and, if you have been feeling unappreciated, long enough for someone to notice that what you do matters.

While away, the women learn more about each other and more importantly about themselves. They discover that what appears to be is not always true and that they each have strengths that even they may not have realized.

Achterberg captures the struggle so many moms face, that of being everything to the small beings who capture their hearts, yet trying to preserve some aspects of the individual they each were before. It is easy to get lost as a mom, to forget who you were and what mattered to you before kids, but it is important to keep these things in sight, because children inevitably grow up.

I enjoyed the novel. By page three, I was hooked.  If I could have, I would have read it in one sitting. I am a parenting stage beyond the characters in the book, but can very much relate to them (though I don’t think I would even consider testing my marriage in this way). Since it comes out May 3, you will be able to pick it up just in time for beach season.


* I received an advance copy of Girls’ Weekend through Net Galley.