Review

Amanda Bright@home

by Danielle Crittenden



Danielle Crittenden, the author of WHAT OUR MOTHERS DIDN'T TELL US,
delivers a second humorous novel in AMANDA BRIGHT@HOME, her witty
statement on stay-at-home mothers through the life of Amanda
Bright, a bright, well-educated woman residing in urban Washington,
D.C. Her major dilemma is how to balance the care of her two
children, Ben and Sophie, with the social demands of her husband's
job. Bob Clarke rewrites his position at the Department of Justice
when he becomes proactive in the investigation of a conglomerate
called Megabyte.

Amanda's typical day consists of avoiding toys, clothing and any
item slung in the pathway from one room to another of her modest
house. Hers is a topsy-turvy world peopled by "play-group" mothers
whose common bond is the exclusive preschool their children attend.
When 35-year-old Amanda cannot bask beside a pool without feeling
restless, she questions the quality of her existence. Their inane
conversations revolve around spas, facelifts, and what prestigious
school in which to enroll little Meredith or Olivia for the coming
year.

Crittenden plays Amanda's deck of cards in a game predictable for
her circumstances. Amanda's mother had been a liberal, politically
active feminist and cannot understand why her daughter has
succumbed to the life she leads. Amanda's blind acceptance of her
motherhood infuriates her mother, who takes advantage of every
possible opportunity to remind her of her wasted potential.

Amanda works through her identification process through
confrontations, trial and error, hilarious pitfalls, and a brief
encounter with another parent, Alan. The book is the first to be
serialized in the Wall Street Journal, a bold accomplishment
for the author. Any woman who has raised young children can relate
to the chaos inherent in a household with peanut butter, paper and
scissors, backpacks, and lots of toys. Our heroine sorts through
the mess of her life, confronts it and reaches a comfortable
conclusion.

"Driving a Volvo while listening to 'Itsy Bitsy Spider,' having all
this so-called time to sit around and bake cookies and dealing with
Ben's poor 'scissoring skills' at school" endear Amanda to any
female who celebrates Mother's Day. I hope that Amanda's reality is
not a true stereotype, but rather a humorous peek at modern
living.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on January 20, 2011

Amanda Bright@home
by Danielle Crittenden

  • Publication Date: May 12, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books
  • ISBN-10: 0446530743
  • ISBN-13: 9780446530743