Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness [NOOK Book]


More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children. While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true. In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a growing demographic that has gone without definition or visibility until ...
See more details below
Otherhood: Modern Women Finding A New Kind of Happiness

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 41%)$17.00 List Price


More American women are childless than ever before—nearly half those of childbearing age don’t have children. While our society often assumes these women are “childfree by choice,” that’s not always true. In reality, many of them expected to marry and have children, but it simply hasn’t happened. Wrongly judged as picky or career-obsessed, they make up the “Otherhood,” a growing demographic that has gone without definition or visibility until now.

In Otherhood, author Melanie Notkin reveals her own story as well as the honest, poignant, humorous, and occasionally heartbreaking stories of women in her generation—women who expected love, marriage, and parenthood, but instead found themselves facing a different reality. She addresses the reasons for this shift, the social and emotional impact it has on our collective culture, and how the “new normal” will affect our society in the decades to come.

Notkin aims to reassure women that they are not alone and encourages them to find happiness and fulfillment no matter what the future holds. A groundbreaking exploration of an essential contemporary issue, Otherhood inspires thought-provoking conversation and gets at the heart of our cultural assumptions about single women and childlessness.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Notkin (Savvy Auntie) coined the term "otherhood" to describe "our misunderstood group of women doing our best to live full and meaningful lives despite the frustrations of some of our most cherished longings": love, marriage, and children. She notes that "the rise of childless women may be one of the most overlooked and underappreciated social issues of our time." As a high-powered, attractive New Yorker who, along with many female friends, achieved success through talent, hard work, and perseverance, she sets out to answer how she and girlfriends in their mid-30s and older are, despite efforts and expectations, still single and why they are "scrutinized so unsympathetically, harassed for sticking by our convictions and invalidated as just plain less than everyone else." Part sociological study, part memoir, the book explores issues including men's reluctance to plan a date, commit, or marry women their own age; egg-freezing trends; the joys and agonies of relationships with others' children; modern matchmakers; and Notkin's own resolution as she enters "the other side of fertility." Heartfelt and frank, the book may be a comfort to other unintentionally single, childless women and a disturbing revelation to their friends, families, and colleagues, although the affluent Manhattan-centricity of the author's cohort may alienate less-privileged readers. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Life doesn’t always unfold the way we expect. In this thought-provoking, honest, and often hilarious exploration of 'otherhood,' Melanie Notkin describes the pleasures and pain of coming to grips with the life she actually has—a childfull life, without children of her own. An essential read for anyone interested in what it’s like to be a woman today."
Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of Happier at Home and The Happiness Project

“In Otherhood, Melanie Notkin gives a fresh voice to a largely unseen, misunderstood part of the population: the unmarried, childless female. After you read this book, you’ll discover she isn’t who you thought she was.”
Stacy London, Style Expert

“In a poignant reported memoir, Otherhood gives voice to a growing, but often hidden segment of society: women who are still waiting for love, marriage and children. With honest humor, Notkin gives the beautiful, bright, talented, single women something no one else does: hope.”
Amy Klein, New York Times Motherlode “Fertility Diary” columnist

“Families aren’t what they used to be, but here Melanie Notkin shows that they’ve recombined, not fallen apart. Otherhood is powerful, not only because it charts an important role for modern women in an age of singles and solos, but also because it’s sharp, witty, and insightful. A terrific read.”
Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

“Melanie Notkin has tapped into the deep need we all have for a new language of love. Otherhood is the perfect book for these times—honest, romping, vulnerable, uplifting. Read it now, because everyone will be talking about it soon.”
Bruce Feiler, New York Times columnist and bestselling author of The Secrets of Happy Families

“Heartbreaking, insightful and ultimately affirming, Otherhood is Notkin’s anguished but undefeated post-feminist battle cry on behalf of childless women of a certain age who refuse to settle for a lesser love.”
Jonathan Tropper, bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You

“In Otherhood, Melanie Notkin brilliantly reveals feminism’s dirty little secret: the most fabulous women today are not finding love, marriage, or the baby carriage. They are creating—in a way The Feminine Mystique did not predict—a new, equally extraordinary kind of happiness.”
Karen Lehrman Bloch, author of The Lipstick Proviso: Women, Sex & Power in the Real World

“In Otherhood, Melanie Notkin, takes the reader on an intimate and insightful journey of what it’s like to be single, never married and childless when apparently no one thinks you should be. She courageously invites us into her intimate world, experiences, and feelings, in a way most close friends wouldn’t even do. And in doing so, she beautifully highlights the importance of being authentic and true to yourself, even if your dreams and wishes don’t come on cue.”
Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and TV commentator

“Melanie Notkin’s Otherhood is empowering and enlightening for a generation of modern women who don’t want to settle in order to settle down. This book will resonate not only with single women but also with those who love them.”
Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing) and Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband)

"Otherhood is a timely book offering up valuable guidance on how to feel appreciated and supported while being self-reliant. Melanie Notkin’s genuine love for her reader shines through each page. Notkin is a powerful leader for all women as they enter into 'otherhood.'"
Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times bestselling author of May Cause Miracles

"Any woman who has ever felt bad about not being 'on track' will find hope and inspiration in Notkin’s readable, compelling book. The experience is like chatting with an old college friend who hands you a mug of tea and kindly reminds you to stop bitching already and get busy creating and celebrating an authentic awesome life."
Sarah Elizabeth Richards, author of Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It

Kirkus Reviews
A frank, hopeful look inside the world of single, childless women facing the end of their fertility. With an increasing number of American women having a first child at a later age, the Census Bureau has labeled the trend "the delayer boom." However, many are confronting the likelihood they will never have biological children. Huffington Post contributor Notkin (Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids, 2011) suggests recognizing these women as "the otherhood." Single and in her early 40s, the author speaks for a generation of women who expected to have the social, economic and political equality their mothers did not. They also expected "the romantic wholeness of marriage and family," but the right man never came along or they were in long-term relationships that didn't work out. She describes complaints older women have with men who can't plan proper dates or who want a younger woman to settle down with. Far from the dowdy old maids and spinsters of yore, today's mature single women don't need to settle for a man they don't love to support them. They have active social lives, successful jobs, and nieces and nephews to love. However, remarks by even well-meaning friends and family members can make them feel "less than" or at fault for not being mothers. In heartbreaking stories, Notkin reveals why "circumstantial infertility" can be as devastating as biological infertility. While many women are empowered by the ability to freeze their eggs or have children on their own, those choices are expensive and frightening for others. Rather than whining about her experiences, Notkin offers funny, instructive vignettes to bring attention to a largely misunderstood and overlooked demographic. A fun, sexy examination of why more women are remaining childless longer and what that means for their lives and society.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580055222
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 287,143
  • File size: 541 KB

Meet the Author

Melanie Notkin is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, spokesperson, marketer, and the leading voice of the nearly 50 percent of American women who are childless. Notkin is the founder and creator of the popular Savvy Auntie® lifestyle brand—a celebration of modern, cosmopolitan aunthood. Notkin’s book on the subject, Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids, was a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Notkin’s writing has appeared in The New York Times and she is a contributor to the Huffington Post and PsychologyToday.com. She lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Modern Women
Chapter 2: Love is Rich
Chapter 3: How to Get Married
Chapter 4: The Dating Bermuda Triangle
Chapter 5: Where Are the Suitable Men?
Chapter 6: From Boys to Men
Chapter 7: Old-Fashioned Dating
Chapter 8: Married Men of Manhattan
Chapter 9: Single, Again
Chapter 10: The Princes and the Poseurs
Chapter 11: Rachel Meets Harrison Black
Chapter 12: Sex in the Otherhood
Chapter 13: Was It Choice or Chance?
Chapter 14: What Choice Do We Have?
Chapter 15: A Date with Destiny
Chapter 16: My Last Chance
Chapter 17: The Vows We Make
Chapter 18: Women and Careers
Chapter 19: The Savvy Aunties
Chapter 20: Izzy Was Robbed
Chapter 21: My Lonely Grief
Chapter 22: Our Nest Eggs
Chapter 23: Mirabelle Is Having a Moment
Chapter 24: Basket Full of Mixed Emotions
Chapter 25: The Next Girls
Chapter 26: We Have a Lot to Celebrate
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    I first learned about Melanie Notkin's "Savvy Auntie"

    I first learned about Melanie Notkin's "Savvy Auntie" company about 2 years ago. Since then, I've been following her success and learned more about her. When I first learned she was writing a new book, I could not have been more excited or proud. I pre-ordered "Otherhood" in November 2013 and it arrived yesterday. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. I finished it in less than 24 hours!

    Melanie has captured the essence of my life with her book, and has made me realize that - in a world where being a mom is expected of woman my age - as a single, childless woman I am not alone. I'm 36 years old, have not found a husband, and have no desire to have a child on my own as many have suggested I do. But I do have several children in my life who are so important to me.

    With her anecdotal style of writing, I found Notkin's book to be completely and absolutely relatable. As she described sitting around a table with her girlfriends talking about their choices in life and decisions they were facing, I felt like I was sitting there with them. Melanie has accepted the fact that she might not ever be a mother, and she is okay with that. After reading her book, my heart is more at peace as I face the same reality. I highly recommend "Otherhood" to any woman who is trying to make peace with such a situation. This book reaffirms the truth that as a woman in today's day and age, there is so much more to life than being a wife and mother. We have family, our friends (who often become our family), and a career we are passionate about. Our hearts can be filled in other ways than we might have once planned. This book gives me the assurance that whatever happens is the right thing for me, and that I can feel good about the relationships I really DO have, rather than the ones I do NOT have. Thank you Melanie Notkin!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Not even worth taking a dump on.

    Not even worth taking a dump on.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    As an actual "professional" woman (childless by choice

    As an actual "professional" woman (childless by choice), I find this book to be trite and insulting. Generally, it is narcissistic rubbish used to empower the author's fellow bimbos. Zero stars here. For a smart read on aunthood, being single in your 40s, and childlessness, please read Kate Bolick.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2015

    When I found this book, it was revolutionary. As a proud aunt an

    When I found this book, it was revolutionary. As a proud aunt and a single woman in NYC, this book reassured me that I wasn't the only one who felt "off-schedule," or "behind" everyone else. Motherhood and womanhood are so tangled up within each other that those of us who aren't mothers, or who aren't mothers *yet*, find ourselves adrift. No more. We have the Otherhood.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 6, 2014

    I read "Otherhood" in one sitting after learning about

    I read "Otherhood" in one sitting after learning about Melanie Notkin from a dear friend as well as reading her posts on Huffington Post. I then was honored to hear her speak.  This book is well-written and researched, hilarious, poignant, and courageous. It speaks about a subject not talked about but almost 1/2 of American women can relate to. The way Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique touched my mom's generation is how Otherhood speaks to my generation and as she shows the next generation as well! Thank you, Melanie Notkin! I highly recommend this book - whether for yourself, your sister, your girlfriend, your aunt, your colleague, your mentor, your neighbor, or your friend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)