Normally, I tend to avoid books that have hats and shoes and thong underwear on the cover. Nothing screams vapid chick-lit like shoes and thongs. So we tip our hat yet again to the power of the blogger recommendation, because if it weren't for the TOTALLY GLOWING reviews of Bermudaonion and At Home With Books, this book would not have graced my threshold. That probably makes me sound snobbish. This whole experience has made me rethink my attitude towards shoes and thongs.
Synopsis: Holly is a writer of poetry. She is turning 50 soon. Her only child, Samantha, is preparing to leave for college in the near future. Her mother, who lives on the other side of the US, is starting to fail. She can't stand to look at herself in the dressing room mirrors. She thinks her husband might be cheating on her with another mom, who happens to be buff. She has writer's block and her publicist is nagging her. The checkout boy at the supermarket just gave her a senior discount.
In refreshing and creative free verse, we are privy to Holly's trials and tribulations as a woman in transition. A woman of the sandwich generation. A woman with hot flashes. It is a diary with a cadence and flow, with a BFF's candor and humor that reassures us that we are not alone.
My thoughts: Sometimes, you find a book that speaks to you. Whether it is a book about grieving when you have lost someone special, a deliciously creepy tale on a rainy night, a book about the building of a medieval English cathedral when you are traveling in England, or a love story when you meet The One.
Or when you read this book when you are feeling fat and unappreciated by your children. It is synchronicity.
And it is laugh-out-loud FUNNY. Sonya has a way with words, verbalizing things that were just on the tip of your tongue. And don't let the "free verse" thing freak you out. What I am finding is that even though I am poetry-illiterate, I really love this style of writing. I have to share a couple of passages with you, and you will see what I mean:
On what day,
at what hour,
at which tell-me-it-ain't-so moment
did you finally come
to the blow-to-the-solar-plexus realization
that your daughter had switched over
from being so proud of you
that she actually wanted to bring you in
to being so humiliated
by everything you say or do
or even think about doing
that she is
no longer willing
to be seen in public with you?
you offer to take her shopping.)
All of us
were young once.
And for each of us
there was a certain afternoon
An afternoon when we were
as beautiful as we'd ever been,
as we'd ever get -
and not one of us
knew that it was happening.
All of us
are older now.
And for each of us
there will be a certain afternoon.
when we will pass by a mirror
and see that the last bit of youthful beauty
has fluttered from our faces.
And on that afternoon,
our hearts and our minds
will finally be old enough
and wise enough -
not to give
a flying f**k.
OK, sorry that was long. But how can you not love this woman? Please get this, please read this, and be charmed off your feet by it.
5 out of 5 stars