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The Marriage Sabbatical
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About the Author

Cheryl Jarvis is a freelance journalist whose writing has appeared in national publications, including the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Cosmopolitan. She is also an adjunct instructor in journalism at Washington University and Webster University in St. Louis, where she lives with her husband.

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Jarvis, a freelance journalist and writing instructor, took three months off from her family to pay a solitary visit to writers' retreats. This "sabbatical" from domestic life raised many questions in herself and in others, the most common being "How can you leave your family?" and "Don't you worry that your husband will cheat on you?" After speaking with 55 other women who had taken breaks ranging from a month pursuing artistic or academic endeavors to two years serving in the Peace Corps, Jarvis found that all of them faced the same kinds of intrusive questions. She analyzes the fears and myths behind those questions and convincingly explains why our society is uncomfortable with the idea of women "taking time off" and why it should become comfortable with this paradigm. 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. Pam Matthews, Gettysburg Coll., PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Restless scholars, doctors and artists have long viewed the sabbatical as a positive and even necessary opportunity for rest and renewal. Even the Bible prescribes rest every seventh day and letting the ground lie fallow every seventh year. But what's a wife to do when she gets the seven-year itch? 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. Having long deferred her desire for a solo adventure, Jarvis pursued her writing in two writers' colonies and on a secluded Montana ranch over a three month period. In the years since, she interviewed married women who took "solo journeys" to further their education, join the Peace Corps, drive across the country, immerse themselves in another language and culture or work creatively, free from the demands of caring for their husband or families. One woman even spent six months alone in the south of France reading 100 recommended books. Emphasizing that these women carefully planned their leave taking, preparing their homes and families and setting clear goals and return dates for themselves, Jarvis clarifies the differences between sabbaticals and vacations or trial separations. In a practical and thoughtful tone, she also reviews the cultural, logistical and psychological obstacles that keep married women from arranging sabbaticals, offering suggestions on how to handle them. Although none of the women here left while their children were young, the author asserts that "there is no good time for a woman to go," and once the desire takes hold in her mind, she can find ways to overcome all obstructions. Agent, Lisa Bankoff, ICM. (Jan. 7) Forecast: Graced with an appealing jacket image of a woman in joyful mid-leapDand supported by a 50,000-copy first printing, eight-city author tour, 20-market radio tour and first serial in RedbookDthis original and refreshing book should reach its publisher's sales target and a enjoy a long paperback life. (See q&a, p. 76.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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