Since my own nest emptied recently, I have been reading books about the empty nest. This is a review of The Empty Nest by Karen Stabiner.
The full title of the book is The Empty Nest, 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, And Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop. This book is a collection of 31 essays by a very diverse group.
I enjoyed the diversity of the authors. All are professional writers so the quality of writing is very good. Included are essays by traditional couples, single moms, single dads, gay parents, and one man who is not a parent but a very involved godparent.
Not all gained empty nest status by their child going to college. One son joined the army. One girl left for boarding school at 14. Death claimed one couple’s son.
Each chapter is by a different author and is short, 10 pages or less. They are more of a fly-over than an in-depth essay. This makes it an easy nightstand book. I read a few chapters before bed every night and was done in less than a week.
Felt like speed dating
Because each chapter is written by a different author, I felt like I was speed dating. I met so many new people. I decided that speed dating this way is fun!
Typical empty nest stories
One woman detailed the struggles of a very difficult teenager. Even holidays when her daughter was home from college were challenging. The difficulties of their relationship continued for years after her daughter was an adult.
“Good-bye to the Sunset Man” is the story of the loss of their adult son. He struggled with mental illness for many years and died of complications of an antipsychotic drug. The story is well-told and moving and one of my favorite chapters in The Empty Nest.
While there were many sad stories, the typical empty nest stories of loss, there were also lighthearted ones. One woman rediscovered herself and her sexiness. After their daughter left, she and her husband came to the conclusion, “Damn, we can do whatever we want!” Another couple had a sex epiphany: they can now have sex as often and as noisily as they please! And one woman welcomed the empty nest joyfully after anticipating it for years.
I recommend reading The Empty Nest
I enjoyed reading and doing a review of The Empty Nest. I found all the different authors with different points of view fascinating and entertaining. But if you would prefer to go deeper with one author, this may not be the book for you. Check out my other book reviews for some options.
If you would like to read this book, you can purchase The Empty Nest here.
Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts.