Book Review (and Giveaway): Lost in Suburbia

lost in suburbia cover

Tracy Beckerman’s Lost in Suburbia started out as an essay in her local newspaper, then it became a nationally syndicated column, then a blog, and now…a book. Forgive me, and Tracy, for using a device that I normally can’t stand*, but this book is a good “momoir.” It’s a self-proclaimed story about how Beckerman went from a stylish TV promo producer living in Manhattan to a frumpy housewife in mom jeans in the Jersey suburbs, and somehow managed to combine the two and keep all the good parts while shedding the not-so-good.

I described this book to one of my friends as “my blog in book form,” because, if you switch out Santa Monica for New York, and the valley for New Jersey, my story is essentially the same. I once was a TV producer, and while I never considered myself particularly stylish, I certainly approached the stay-at-home-mom life and seemingly requisite surrender of my previous persona with nervous disdain. In the early years of this blog I told the tall tales of adjusting to life with less sleep, more spit-up, and the proliferation of plastic toys, while also casting a cynical eye on my peers who were doing the same thing and professing to enjoy it.

(I’m not as publicly cynical now, but ask anyone who knows me in real life and they will tell you that not much has changed in that department. I’m just more sensitive to broadcasting my criticism, which is why I save that for my much smaller audience of Facebook friends.)

Anyway, what Beckerman has done is to essentially summarize the journey of every career-woman-turned-SAHM, which is the subject of countless mom blogs that started in the early 2000’s. She does this in a way that is relatable, funny, self-deprecating (natch), and also hopeful. You see, now Beckerman’s children are almost adults, and so when you’re reading this book you know there is a happy ending. She’s also pretty darn cool, so reading the chapters in which she describes her cellulite-addled body, her mom jeans, and her bad haircut, it’s hard to take those gripes seriously. I’m sure she felt bad about herself at the time – heck, I know that feeling well – but knowing how she turned out, it’s easy to pooh-pooh that phase and say to yourself “Oh Tracy, lighten up.”

tracy beckerman

I mean, LOOK at her.

I enjoyed the bookends to Lost in Suburbia – a suburban stay-at-home mom gets pulled over by a cop. In one instance, she’s at her rock-bottom. In the other, she’s got her act together…almost. The “almost” is why you love Beckerman, all the way through the story.

Lost in Suburbia
Penguin
$15.00

I have an extra copy of Lost in Suburbia to give away here. Please leave a comment on this post telling me how your story might relate to Tracy’s between now and Monday, July 29 at 11:59 PM. A winner will be chosen at random from qualifying entries (USA only, please) and I will mail the book at my own expense.

*the device is replacing a syllable of a word with the word “mom.” Ugh. Just…ugh.

I received a free copy of Lost in Suburbia to facilitate this review. And Tracy signed it for me…after I kind of stalked her at her book release party. Swoon.

Comments

  1. Hmmm – looks like a good read. Better than Eat, Pray, Love, at the very least. 😉

  2. Sounds like a good read, I’m not sure how her story might relate to mine until I read the book.

  3. Wow, lets see I’m a stay at home mom and I have lots of cellulite so there are two things we have in common. LOL

  4. For Christ’s sake you have to pick me. And you know exactly why. Not just b/c at 27 I had my own law office on Park Avenue in Manhattan, and now my office is a singular computer table (which you JUST witnessed) in my kids play room (former guest bedroom, of course). But also b/c I was underwater for so long right when the social media thing exploded (having had 3 kids in 19 months, K?) that it took me a bit to figure out how to leave a comment on this blog b/c I have never really followed a blog before, much less commented! So you best “randomly” pick me – I need the hope!

    p.s. found two “treasures” in Cape May on vacation, thx to your introduction!

  5. I’m already lost in suburbia.

  6. I’m a little bitter that I didn’t write this book. (AND get it published!) Sounds like a great read. Trade TB promo producer for music industry marketing and yeah, I totally get it. But even then, I had cellulite!

    (Hey and tell that Deb chick that Eat Pray Love rocked. Jeez!)

  7. Former newspaper reporter turned work-from-home mom. Not sure I have my cool back, but working on it. Oh, and my name is Tracy, too!

Leave a Comment

*