Too often, women hear the message that once they get off the career track, they can't get back on. They are told they will face decreased earning power, increased competition, too much readjustment, too little flexibility, no jobs, no hope—nothing to look forward to. In The Comeback, Emma Gilbey Keller proves that this isn’t true: More and more, companies today are looking at the value of hiring returning mothers. Keller tells the stories of seven very different women who sought to strike a balance between demanding careers and budding families. With all of them there came a moment—unplanned—when they decided to give up work and become full-time mothers. Then, some time later, each of them decided it was time to start thinking about going back. Their stories are complicated, filled with the choices, decisions and trade-offs that all mothers face. Each ended up with some version of the balance that we all strive for as we juggle work and families. Achieving this balance always takes effort, frustration, and give-and-take, but in the end anyone can do it. An absorbing blend of story, insight, advice, and inspiration, The Comeback offers a positive message to mothers overwhelmed by the ever-shifting work versus home debate.
“For mothers contemplating a return to the work force after years spent raising children, Emma Gilbey Keller has good news: if the women she profiles in her new book can do it, so can you . . . [Keller] chats and charms her way through the book, interweaving detailed portraits of her subjects with sketches of larger issues including women’s entrepreneurship; sexism in the fields of medicine, law and architecture; the benefits of joint custody to divorced mothers’ work schedules; and the effect (or not) of changing gender roles on housework . . . These accomplished women bring reassuring voices to our increasingly urgent national conversation about mothers and work . . . If Keller’s Everywoman can finally effect lasting political and economic change, perhaps her daughters won’t need to stage a career comeback: they won’t have to leave in the first place.”—The New York Times Book Review“[A] must-have book . . . inspiring.”—New York Daily News"There's much talk about the choice made by many women to leave the workforce when their children are small, but little has been written about the specific challenges of returning to work. By introducing us to seven women who made that journey, The Comeback shows seven paths to that goal. Each is unique, but together they begin to answer the questions: How does it feel? How is it done? Any woman who wants both children and career, or anyone who knows such a woman, will want to start by reading The Comeback."—Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don't Understand, Talking from 9 to 5 and You're Wearing THAT?“At last a book that doesn't tell women that whatever we do, we're wrong. Emma Keller's warmth and wisdom infuse The Comeback, a sensible corrective to the no-win, media-stoked battles of the 'Mommy Wars.' Her stories of women's resilience, grit and triumph as they re-enter the workforce after years at home remind us that reinvention is truly possible; that, rather than constantly judging our lives, we should live them--fully and well.”—Peggy Orenstein, author of Waiting for Daisy“Insightful, engaging, and empowering, Emma Keller's The Comeback is the 'women and work' book you've been waiting for.”—Liz Lange, President & Founder of Liz Lange Maternity"[This book has a] candid yet gentle tone . . . stories so personal that readers wince with pain at the challenges and cheer with real glee for the successes."—Booklist“Warm, laudatory, refreshingly nonjudgmental—she honors both working and stay-at-home moms . . . Relentlessly honest in depicting the low confidence that paralyzes women eager to rejoin the workplace. [Keller provides] insight into how women have rediscovered their professional identities through sheer perseverance. Women contemplating their own re-entries into their careers or into new professions will relish this book for its frankness, encouragement and practical direction.”—Publishers Weekly
Emma Gilbey Keller is the author of Lady: The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela. She has written for the London Sunday Times, the London Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, Marie Claire, More magazine, Vanity Fair, and Tatler, among others. She grew up in England and lives in New York City with her husband Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times, and their two children.