Homeward Bound

 (Disclaimer: We were sent copies of the book by Simon & Schuster in exchange for our review, however all opinions expressed are 100% our own.) 

On our summer bucket list you’ll find “Read a book that inspires you.”

When we were contacted to review a new book, we didn’t really know if this book would in fact “inspire” us. But we both enthusiastically agreed to the book review (these two nerdbombers can’t refuse a new read)

Homeward Bound Emily Matchar

Luckily, Emily Matchar’s Homeward Bound was indeed inspiring and interesting. When we first dove in, we were a little nervous that it would be a little too academic…like taking “Women’s Studies 101”. Been there, done that.

Much to our surprise, this book teetered on the edge of intriguing, interesting, informative, eye-opening, and yes even a little academic, ALL while still keeping us wanting more. More real life stories, more trends in domestic bliss, more inspiration on chasing your own dreams… more, more more! How Ms. Matchar can pull this off, we’ll never know. But she did! Homeward Bound motivated, and yes, even INSPIRED us to reflect on our own work/home balance.

Homeward Bound Emily Matchar

“New Domesticity” is what Matchar calls the new trend of women embracing DIY activities, such as canning jam, growing vegetables, sewing quilts, and homeschooling their children.  This new passion for homemaking is sweeping the nation as young, qualified, professional women (& some men) leave the corporate life to stay at home, start blogs, and perhaps sell their crafts on Etsy instead.

Throughout the book, Matchar introduces the reader to many educated women who have left high-profile, well-paid gigs to fully embrace this idea of new domesticity. Why the change of heart? What are their lives like now? Are they truly fulfilled staying at home everyday?

We found ourselves nodding in agreement with Matchar many times throughout her book. A decade ago, a 20-something gal measured success with a fabulous job and weekends spent shopping and ordering takeout. But now you’re more likely to find those same twenty-somethings admiring homemaking blogs, baking a new recipe found on Pinterest, and spending nights in with girlfriends crafting. (we’re guilty of all of the above!)

The economy may have something to do with these new found hobbies.  Many young women are forced to take low-paying jobs where they’re overworked, and their hard work is rarely acknowledged. A life in the country, with home-cooked meals, and days spent outdoors sounds almost dream-like compared to the corporate grind.

Homeward Bound Emily Matchar

But if all of these educated women are leaving work for home…what happens to the workplace? What happens to gender equality? Is this new trend sexist or liberating? Matchar thoroughly examines all sides and potential outcomes of this phenomenon.

Do you know anyone that is chasing the idea of “New Domesticity”? Do you ever find yourself day-dreaming of trading your professional responsibilities in the workplace for a full time domesticated role at home? Do you ever wonder what it would be like if you had enough time to grow a fresh garden, harvest the fruits of your labors, create all natural recipes, leave a smaller carbon footprint, and have more control over your home, the products you use, the food you eat? Do you think you’d be happier? More fulfilled? Less stressed?

Homeward Bound Emily Matchar

If you so much as hesitated at any one of these questions, we suggest you add Homeward Bound to your Summer Bucket List.

And the best part of this little review? We have 2 FREE copies up for grabs! Here are the details…

PRIZE: One copy of Homeward Bound.

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. shipping address. No P.O. boxes please.

TO ENTER: Scroll down to the giveaway widget below and log in with your Facebook account. If you don’t have Facebook, just enter your email address. Don’t worry, your information is kept private! Once you’ve done that, you’ll be shown the entry requirements. Click the “Do it!” button, type your answer to the question then click “Enter!”. Now that you’ve entered, you’ll see some optional entry options. To gain additional entries and increase your chances of winning the prize, you can do one or all of them. If you already follow DIY Playbook, go ahead and enter your Facebook or Twitter info, and you’ll automatically be given the extra entries.

DEADLINE: Enter by Monday, July 1st. Two random winners will be chosen and announced on Tuesday, July 2nd.

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If you want to order your own copy of the book, you can find it right here on Amazon.  To learn more about the author (she seems like a pretty awesome chick…we kinda want to be her BFF) you can check out her blog here.

Happy Reading Domestic Divas! Let us know what you think.

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Leave a Comment

  • Emily Wagner

    It looks like a great book, and so true! I would much rather craft and cook my way through my pinterest boards than go to work

  • Tricia

    I just read about this book on another site as well! Looks like a good read!!

  • Christine Casey

    I think woman can have a balance between career and home, but it can be very difficult! You really have to make sure you don’t over extend yourself (especially at work) and don’t be the person that says “yes” to everything.

    The home skill I’m currently into is definitely cooking and baking from scratch. A couple weeks ago I made my own whipped cream instead of buying some cool whip, and it was surprisingly easy and delicious!

    Great book review girls!

  • Kristy Joy Doyle

    I think it’s REALLY HARD to be able to have a career and a fulfilling life at home. There are so many things I want to be able to do, but finding the time is so hard. I know it will only get worse when my fiance and I start a family!

  • Yummm..homemade whipped cream sounds delicious!

    And I think you’re right Christine…sometimes it is hard to say “no”, but you can’t spread yourself too thin!

  • Tricia did you see it on The Everygirl? We saw it on there and were excited they reviewed it too!

  • Right?! Neither of us have kids, and we still feel overwhelmed at times.

  • pam

    I think that you can achieve both a career and home life, BUT you have to have everyone pitching in to help..not just you doing both..

  • TheRogueRunner

    I definitely find myself aching for a more simple life sometimes, but I also love all the craziness I have going on! I have no idea if I will be able to “do it all,” but I sure as heck am going to try!

  • Maggie

    This book was amazing! I love from-scratch baking and DIY, most of which I learned from my mother– but I am daunted by the idea of raising my own chickens or grinding my own flour. Some of the women in this book were really impressive in their dedication to DIY lifestyles (and I think Matchar did a good job of looking into some of the pros and cons of all this).

  • Rebecca

    A career and a fulfilling life at home is a hard balance. One will always rise above the other, but I think you can find some sort of balance, but it might be extremely difficult for some.

  • Maggie, we couldn’t agree more! While many of the women she highlights in the book are inspirational…I’m not sure we could ever emulate their hardcore dedication.

  • Pam good observation. Having help may be the key to keeping your sanity and a nice work/home balance!

  • Casey

    Very interested in reading this, I have heard a lot of opinions on parts of it published elsewhere that I thought were taking things too personally. I think we should be proud that we can do what we please these days.

  • Such an interesting and thought-provoking topic. In terms of having it all, I think back to a quote I heard once. Women can have it all, but not always at the same time. I think that’s so true as well as the fact that our definition of “all” changes through different stages in our lives.

  • Dana…love the quote! I think you’re definitely right. Thanks for offering up your thoughts!

  • Rachael Telford

    I saw this in people in the grocery line, it definitely piqued my interest.

  • Rachael Telford

    whoops, posted early there. I love what Dana said about having it all, but not all at once. I love that, and remind myself of it often. Since I’ve left the work I was doing to stay at home with my kids, I’ve found that domesticity and the skills it implies are the reason I can stay at home- because handmade saves us a lot, and keeps the kids busy, rather than asking do get/do things that cost money.

  • shannon

    I can only speak for myself. I can’t have it all. And why would I want to?!

  • Allison

    I find that my career and family life do not support each other (and I don’t even have kids yet!). I was more dedicated to my career when I was single, and I am more giving and compassionate toward my husband when I have time off from work. Sometimes when I see women who “have it all,” I think they are running themselves ragged. I definitely see the value in a simpler lifestyle.