The Marriage Sabbatical

Cheryl Jarvis, Author
Cheryl Jarvis, Author Da Capo Press $24 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7382-0339-3
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-56352-498-1
Paperback - 316 pages - 978-0-7679-1002-6
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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.)
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