5 Minutes for Books — Piece of Work

I made a new friend this week. Her name is Julia Einstein, or depending on how literal you want to get, author Laura Zigman who created her. Laura Zigman herself claims that she writes “thinly veiled autobiographical fiction,” so I think it’s a fairly safe bet that if I enjoyed the character, I would relate to the author.

Julia Einstein is forced to go back to work as a celebrity publicist when her husband loses his job. She has to quit the job she’s come to love–that of full-time mom to her three and a half year old son (just like mine–similarity #1 to my own life). After first resenting the idea that she must go back to work, she begins to remember what she enjopiece-of-work.jpgyed about life beyond the scope of playground politics and Thomas and all of his friends (similarity #2–she even mentions Mavis and others by name). What’s more, her husband seems to enjoy his work at home, and actually seems to excel in some of the areas where she has fallen short as a homemaker (similarity #3??). At the risk of sounding odd, I won’t mention that my heart sort of skipped a beat when she mentioned the delicious (and inexpensive) rotisserie chickens from Costco (#4).

I read Piece of Work in a few short sittings. It was clever, light, and real. I enjoyed getting to know and like this character. It’s not often that I come across characters who are real and likeable. It was a pleasure to read about a good marriage–not a perfect one, but one in which mutual love and respect flourishes. This real mom admits that she likes the flexibility of being a stay-at-home mom, but when needed, she also demonstrates that she still has what it takes to be a success in the workplace.

There is a reading group guide available which provides some thoughtful questions about the role of a mom, some great get-to-know-you questions about past work experiences, and some fun questions about celebrities. For more information about the author, check out her website and blog at LauraZigman.com.

We have three copies to give away (to U.S. or Canadian addresses), so please leave a comment if you are interested in winning. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s column. The winners of last week’s book How Strong Women Pray were announced in the New Habits for the New Year giveaway post.


  1. Nancy says

    I would love to win this book. I already relate to the title since I’ve been told I’m a “real piece of work.”

  2. says

    This book sounds great! I love reading more realistic books. I need to know that I am not the only one who is going through all that stay at home moms and working moms go through!

  3. Jenny M says

    Sounds like my life as well=). There is no right universal answer to the work/ stay at home dilemna! Id love to read this book.

  4. Shari says

    this sounds like a really nice light read. And although I am vegetarian my husband devours costco rotisserie chicken! Sign me up! :)

  5. Jane Squires says

    Sound interesting. I’m an empty nest Mom with surgery preventing to go to work so trying to figure out what I can do. Would love to win this.

  6. says

    I just wanted to let you know that I received the prize I won- “My Mommy’s Tote” in the mail and it is SO cool! I posted a picture of it on my blog. Thanks again for the contests!

  7. says

    After 15 years in the workforce, in Aug ’07 I decided to stay home full-time. I am working very hard to build a website and internet business so that I can stay home and raise my almost teenage son and my joyful 1st grade son. I LOVE the flexibility, like today having a sick kid at home, and the freedom to be in charge of my schedule, workload, and the atmosphere in which I work. I am still concerned about finances, but am praying the Lord will honor my decision to put my family first!

  8. Kirsten says

    I’m getting ready to have my second child, a boy and me and my husband are discussing the option of me heading back to work so he can get his master’s degree. This looks like a great book to read to prepare me for everything that lies ahead. Great contest! Thanks!

  9. Heather C says

    My husband salivates at the thought of me going to work while he stays at home. It can’t be because he thinks he’ll get more time at the golf range, right? :-) Thanks for offering up such a fab book. I’m excited about it.

  10. says

    Sounds wonderful! I am always looking for new GOOD books to read! I’m a voracious reader and I’m going through our library too quickly!
    This sounds great! Enter me Please!!!

  11. says

    Hi I found your site looking for great books for my 10 year old daughter. I recently went back to work and could relate to this book ! I would love to read it !

    Jennie Gnojek


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