Maddy Nelson has an idyllic existence: a handsome husband, great kids, a comfortable, affluent lifestyle. One morning soon after she turns fifty, however, she wakes up in her San Francisco home to find her husband Steven announcing that he’s leaving her for a woman half her age. And a third of her size.
Feeling totally unmoored and grieving for her married life and husband, Maddy finds herself thrust into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable world of middle-aged singledom. There, she must come to terms with her situation and embark on her new life: divorce proceedings, single parenting, internet dating, and trying to earn a living. It’s enough to drive her over the brink. To help her cope, she shares her struggles in a smart, wry blog named The Blasphemy Box, after her ex-husband’s obnoxious habit of having her drop a quarter into a wooden box every time she said something off color. Her madcap middle-aged adventures find her devoted readers who identify with her challenges.
In time, Maddy recreates herself and finds happiness in the arms of a good man, and a fulfilling new career as a novelist.
I seriously think that this is one of my new favorite books of 2013. I was sucked in from the very beginning, and found myself sneaking my Kindle to read more and more chapters at every chance I could. I have British heritage, which draws me to British characters. I love Maddy's sass and honesty as she tries to navigate those perilous waters one finds herself in during a divorce. She rides a roller coaster of emotion, and you are right there with her. You feel her angst and frustration, confusion, sadness, and even those snippets of joy as she settles into her new life. You are rooting for her to figure it all out. You find yourself laughing out loud at some of her precarious situations, but you are laughing WITH her, not at her.
This book is written so honestly, that I can't help but wonder if Maddy and Mandy are one and the same. So much in this book seems to ring true, no matter your age and marital status. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for this review, but this one is definitely worth the splurge. I will probably read it again, which I don't often do anymore.
About Author Mandy Behbehani
Mandy Behbehani grew up in England and now lives in California. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is a professional journalist whose work has appeared in a variety of publications from the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle to W magazine, Town & Country magazine and Travel & Leisure magazine.
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