middle life

Book Review – “Mid-Life Love” by Whitney Gracia Williams

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Finding Love in Mid-Life

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author for an honest review.

Too many stories these days feature young, hot 20-somethings, going through the trials and tribulations of life.    It is a well-known fact that I am not a fan of New Adult (NA) books.   While their stories may be well written, they do not ring true-to-life.  Much of what those “adults” are experiencing is not real, not unless they have faced early trauma, reached mid-life, or at least their 30s.

Those of us who are have reached middle age, however, may identify with Claire Gracen, of Mid Life Love. Whether we have been through a divorce or not, we want to star in our own version of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. We seek catharsis as we age and Claire represents the everywoman at a crossroads in life. She has to pick up the pieces of her life after being betrayed, while knowing that her future is forever changed. She becomes suspicious of everyone, and wonders what his or her real intentions may be. Therefore, Claire remains guarded about her personal life and erects emotional walls to keep people at bay.

Claire’s boss, Jonathan Statham, eleven years younger, is a self-made computer billionaire. He is determined to have Claire, regardless of her reservations about their age difference. Jonathan flirts, flatters and relentlessly pursues Claire with the intensity of a man who has worked hard for everything he has.

From the moment we find out the reasons that led to Claire’s divorce, Ms. Williams hooks the reader in. The narration alternates from Claire to Jonathan to provide their backstories. In Claire, she nails the self-deprecating humor of an aging Generation-Xer, especially when confronted with younger, inexperienced, talentless, lazy, fellow employees. However, I was deeply disappointed with Claire’s seemingly irrational obsession with her age, and maintaining “privacy,” or being caught doing something “inappropriate.” I found myself wanting Claire to realize how she was sabotaging her own life, by being pathologically self-centered, self-absorbed and exhibiting little self-confidence. In fact, there was a point I did not want her to experience a happy conclusion.

However, Ms. Williams had other plans for Claire. In finding Jonathan, Claire begins to find herself. Through their affair, they both come to terms with their pasts and grow into stronger characters. Their scenes are funny, creatively sexy and deeply personal. It was a pleasure to experience their metamorphosis throughout the book, and I recommend Mid Life Love for your Summer Reading List.

Link to my “official” review:  Amazon Review of “Mid-Life Love,” by Whitney Gracia Williams