Thursday 26 May 2022

I Was Told It Would Get Easier

Finished May 1
I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

This is a road trip novel, with a mother and daughter travelling in the eastern U.S. on a college tour. Jessica is a single mom, 45, and a partner in her law firm. She has mentored younger women lawyers for years, and is currently mentoring Valentina, who is up for partner. She has had a live-in nanny for her daughter Emily from the beginning, and Anna is more like a member of the family than an employee. 
Jessica is looking forward to the trip to spend time with Emily and get some quality mother-daughter time. But to add to the reasons, one of the lead partners has told her that he doesn't intend to make either of the women who qualify for partner this year a partner, for not very good reasons. Jessica has had enough of this attitude and has issued an ultimatum of quitting if he doesn't, which makes her a little nervous. 
Emily is also looking forward to going away, but not because she particularly wants to spend time with Jessica, or because she wants to explore colleges, but because something has happened at school, something that she has had a role in, and she wants the dust to settle before she returns to school and before her mother finds out. 
Emily isn't sure what she wants to do with her life, but she doesn't feel that college is the right choice for her. She is, however, having trouble convincing Jessica that this is a good move. 
As the two of them visit a number of colleges from Washingon, D.C. to New York City, there are many encounters, between them, the problems they left back in California, and other people on the tour. Some of these encounters are ones that may change their lives. 
I liked that the viewpoint changed between the characters of Emily and Jessica, so you got to see and experience both viewpoints, and see some of the underlying tensions of their relationship, as well as other worries that are in their heads. They are both good people, with strong ethical foundations, and this comes through during the course of the book. They are also very capable people in their own right and their own sphere, and while those spheres are different, they both grow to acknowledge the other's worth beyond their relationship. 
There are many other interesting characters that have small but important roles here, including the other parents and teens on the trip, the young woman who is leading the tour, and people they meet along the way. I really enjoyed this read, and seeing the characters grow. 

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