Women’s Work: The rigged, claustrophobic childminder system

Book review: The domestic labour system is deeply flawed, argues Megan Stack

“Households had never held my interest,” writes Megan Stack, the former Pulitzer Prize international reporting finalist who reported from 22 countries in a single decade. You can almost see her shrug. She hadn’t yet realised, she goes on to admit, that “households are life itself”.

In 2011, following the success of her debut book, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar, Stack began a novel. Pregnant with her first child, she decided to leave her job as a war reporter, planning to combine motherhood with writing. Early in Women’s Work, she recalls, “I imagined long, silent afternoons in spotless rooms, typing clean lines of prose while the baby napped beatifically in a sunbeam.” Even putting the wry, self-deprecating tone to one side, it’s clear the fall was always going to be long and painful.

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