Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes

I was recommended this book by a friend, who described it as a bunch of case studies of  moms who were staying at home but doing a lot of tasks themselves like sewing and cooking and raising chickens.  She said these women were changing the world by radically making their houses into homes.

I found it at the library, and didn't mind spending the time reading it, but didn't really learn anything worthy of note.

The first half of the book was an interesting history of women and men and their roles in keeping house and how the industrial revolution and then feminism changed people's ideas of these places.

The second half of the book was her take on what she learned by interviewing twenty families.  She analyzed her interviews and broke them into similarities and then illustrated each of her qualities with quotes from her interviews.

She gave longer summaries of each family as an appendix.

I found the first half too long and slightly repetitive (although interesting), and the second half did not go deep enough.  I found it hard to keep the families apart, and really wanted to get to know them better.  I read the appendix about the families, and didn't learn much more about them than the tidbits she had mentioned earlier in the book.  I felt like the whole book was a teaser for actually getting a view into the lives of these people.  Instead the reader got the author's analysis dotted with a few quotes.

I don't really recommend this book.  I love the concept, but the execution lacked depth. Pin It

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