Sunday, December 9, 2007

Book Review: Younger

Is it possible to reinvent your self? Can you really change who you are, what you believe, where you're from and become someone else? And even a bigger challenge, can you believe it yourself?

I just finished reading Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran. It was published in 2005 and seems to be part of the somewhat more mature "chick lit" genre. The story is simple enough, a mature woman (can we call 44 middle-aged--I hesitate to), newly divorced and with an empty nest, attempts to reinvent herself into a younger twenty-something.


At first I thought the premise was a little far fetched. Not that a forty-something can't look younger, I just found it hard to believe that this particular forty-something could fool SO many people. She fooled her boss, her "boy toy," her twenty-something co-workers. But I think it was the fact that she even fooled herself that I found so intriguing.

The protagonist, Alice (she refuses to go by Ali--the younger, hipper version of her name), lands a job at a publishing company, one that ignored her when she was her "old" version, a new friend, a new boy, and a whole new outlook on life.

Yes, it is like many other novels where the woman finds herself and is thus empowered to revitalize her life and realize her true value. BUT, this particular character had real flaws that were easy to relate to. She also did what many of us have done, given up a career to stay home and raise a family. Her cost was high, but she always felt it was worth it. While she was living what many of us would consider a fantasy as a seeming twenty-something, she was also doing it in such a way that reality became an inevitable part of her salvation.

It didn't necessarily have a fairy tale ending. As a matter of fact, it had an ending that I would consider . . . promising.

Satran's writing style is simple and clear. I particularly appreciated the lack of words written for the sack of words. There was not unnecessary description or detail and the story flowed quickly. I am notorious for skipping over paragraphs to get to the guts. I didn't have to with this novel. I finished it in about two days (for a mom of a 4-month old, that isn't too shabby). There are some racy parts, but nothing that won't make you shove the book under the couch if someone asks you what you are reading (though it may make you blush a bit).

For my casual reads I am not a big fan of flighty, superficial "chick lit," however, I do enjoy stories that are written by women, that explore real issues faced by women, in all periods of their lives, in an intelligent and unique way. This is a good read. On a scale of 1-10 (best): 6

4 comments:

SherryTex said...

I'll look for it in my next sojourn to the book store!

For the record, as a 41 year old, I consider myself middle aged, in that while I remain immature and young in heart, I don't get carded and I'm 24 years from AARP and 22 years from High school. My middle is aged, so I'm middle aged...:)

LaskiGal said...

OK . . . makes absolute sense. I did hear that 40 is the new 30. So, you must be 31!

Nory Roth said...

I am 43, but I say that I am 39 and "holding". I think I can "hold" for about 10 more years, at which time my daughter will turn 21, and it would be obscene to list my age as anything less than 40!

LaskiGal said...

Actually Nory, according to the "40 is the new 30"--you are only 33!

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