Top positive review
Finding Oneself in Middle Age
Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2019
What a lovely story. It centers around Trudy, 47, whose three kids are grown and whose husband is having an affair, so she kicks him to the curb. And then she falls apart, because she still loves him passionately. Her arc is about finding the woman she was before she gave up her dreams to care for her family, and how does her maybe-to-be-ex-husband adapt, or does he? Meanwhile, a beautiful and sexy man moves in next store, a man with his own broken heart to tend.
Although beautifully drawn, this book came close to trying to do too much. Although I loved Trudy, her story is nearly overshadowed by other characters. There's Roberta, an elderly neighbor who might be losing the will to live upon the death of her beloved husband. There's her granddaughter, Jade, a 30 yo social worker who boxes and wants to empower girls. And her coach, Reuben, with whom a romance flares.
There's Shannelle, the girl across the street, who is a perfect wife and mother and wants to be a writer, because she's really talented, but whose husband isn't supportive. And the famous writer who's encouraging her.
But the payoff is huge, because there are insights in this book that will make you feel joyful. And as with all of O'Neal's novels, there's such a constant theme of women looking out for each other, being good friends. Friendship and sisterhood, love and lust, art, goddesses, a Spanish poet, cooking, plants, cats...something for everyone in this novel. Totally recommend it.