August 2009 Indie Next List
“Reading Melanie Gideon's essays is just like sitting down with friends over cups of coffee to chat about how old the kids are getting, how much we're changing, and how to read the secret messages in a restaurant menu--all the little things in life, which are really the big things.”
— Jenny Stroyeck, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK
Melanie Gideon’s hilarious memoir is a disarmingly honest take on marriage and motherhood by a woman who realized she was sleepwalking through life and decided she needed to do something about it.
The Slippery Year chronicles her struggle to rediscover meaning and pleasure in life while navigating the comical ups and downs of cohabiting with a husband, a child, and a dog: mattress wars with her snoring mate, the psychological minefield of the school carpool line, and sending her son to sleep-away camp for the first time. Gideon manages to be laugh-out-loud funny while also reflecting beautifully and movingly on her quest to appreciate what she has.
About the Author
Melanie Gideon was born and brought up in Rhode Island and now lives in northern California with her family. This is her first novel for young readers.
Best Books of the Year: NPR and San Francisco Chronicle
“Gideon has written a love song to family and to life. What a lovely song it is…. One of the happiest books to cross our paths in a very long time. Kind ... loving ... funny ... wise.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Hilarious…. A sinuous journey—complete with skids and scraped knees—toward greater engagement with life . . . treated with humor and heart.” —Christian Science Monitor
“After a few chapters of one gorgeous and self-ridiculing sentence after another, you realize that Gideon doesn’t need to detonate her life to shake things up. There’s a perfect storm raging inside her head, and its hilarity is drama enough for anyone.” —San Francisco Magazine
“A self-deprecating, wickedly funny and mildly philosophical reflection on marriage, mothering, middle age and the march toward life’s meaning.” —Bookpage
“An honest, funny tribute to the way love can survive waves of doubt, miscommunications and highly dubious purchases.” —Redbook
“Gideon explores her pain, doubt, regret, and confusion as a wife and mother at midlife with great poise and insight and, ultimately, a gentle aura of hope.” —Elle
“By the end of the book I felt like I had just spent several hours knocking back drinks with an especially funny friend. Which is some of my highest praise.” —Book Bench (newyorker.com)
“With self-effacing humor, Ms. Gideon chronicles the mundanity and small epiphanies of everyday life.” —New York Times
“Gideon’s a deceptively smooth writer; her memoir’s packed with insights that sneak up on you.” —San Diego Tribune
“There is nothing contrived, trite, or holier-than-thou in this crisply hilarious, candid, and affecting contemplation. Instead, Gideon’s self deprecating and wry insights into the mysteries of marriage, parenthood and the evolution of the self are astute, pragmatic, and generous, providing the perfect antidote to the everyday blues.” —Booklist
“ A hilariously probing account of personal growth and stasis. Epiphanies abound in Gideon’s account . . . refreshing and sassy, with more than a dash of tenderness thrown in.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In this marvelous memoir Ms. Gideon appears to be channeling everything I’ve ever felt, thought, feared, hoped about motherhood.” —Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother
“Like all the best books, The Slippery Year reminds us that we are not alone—not alone in our fears about our kids, not alone in our struggle to make meaning of our lives, and most definitely not alone in our volcanic rages about the car pool line. Melanie Gideon is a wonderful companion—smart, rueful and painfully funny. Truly the one thing wrong with this book is that it had to end.” —Allison Pearson, author of I Don't Know How She Does It
“Within hours of finishing The Slippery Year, I was raving to friends about its perfect balance of gorgeous writing, quirky wit, and lovable impertinences. I laughed and cried and saw myself in Melanie Gideon’s chronicle of maternal neuroses and wifely doubts. What a pleasure to find such a dear and funny book.” —Elinor Lipman, author of The Family Man and Then She Found Me
“Gideon has an utterly charming way of turning the constant compromises of married life into riotous poetic insight.” —Po Bronson, author of NurtureShock