Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines by Carol E Wyer

Even the title makes you want to quote it doesn't it?

I have just finished reading this wonderfully human and entertaining book. It's a sort of Internet age Bridget Jones Diary for the more mature woman. Well, maybe not exactly, but it is a kind of diary. In fact, it's written as a blog and includes all the comments made by the blog followers. As the book progresses, the number of comments increases, and we get to know some of these characters too through both their sympathy and (sometimes) impatience with the day to day problems faced by the heroine of the piece.

I must say I became pretty fond of Amanda Wilson (blog name: Facing50withHumour), a rather refreshingly normal middle-aged woman who admits to her worries about turning 50 and all the attendant struggles with wrinkles and other folds (or should I say rolls) that being 'of a certain age' implies. I also became fond of her taciturn husband and irresponsible son, especially when his world collapses on being dumped by his first real love.

Amanda is a social networking addict, not really having all that much else to do apparently. Her husband has taken early retirement by selling his business and spends most of his time poring over stock prices on the Internet. Her son still lives at home, much to her husband's disgust and gives them both headaches with his attitude towards life, money and his parents. Even so, Amanda doesn't have a job, and apart from keeping the house, looking out for son Tom, and trying her best to find hobbies to drag Phil, her husband, out of his morose world of falling stocks and shares, her time is spent blogging, playing Facebook games and looking for ways to fight the flab, wrinkles and other signs of age that beset her as she approaches 50. If there is anything that bothered me at all about the book, it is that in some respects, life seems a bit pointless for all of them.

Of course, there is more to it than this, and Amanda faces a number of dilemmas, one of which is how to deal with the increasingly flirtatious attentions of an old flame who she plays Facebook Scrabble with. Another problem is her feisty mother, who at seventy something, seems hell bent on going out, partying and getting drunk - in Cyprus! I won't say more as I wouldn't want to spoil the book for anyone planning to buy it and read it. All I will say is that it's a fun read, charmingly honest and with plenty for the slightly more mature among us to relate to. Some parts even had me laughing out loud. It also has some good plot twists and in its format as an ongoing blog, it's very much a book of this age. In a word, I can honestly recommend it for relaxing weekend or holiday reading. It's available here.


Carol Wyer said...

Valerie I am hugely indebted to you for this marvellous review. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for this super post which I shall link to from my site.
Very best wishes

VallyP said...

My pleasure, Carol!

Anne-Marie said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! Austin actually knew an online friend whose name was Amanda Wilson. It will take some getting used to the character not being her, but it sounds divine. I need to bookmark the link and will look forward to reading it when I get my own second book finished, asI find it impossible to do any real reading these days beyond my own editing.

Congrats on the publishing, Carol!

VallyP said...

Anne Marie, it really is a fun and rather precious read. I'm sure you'll enjoy it too. I'm looking forward to reading the next one when it's available.

And how special that Austin had a friend with the same name!

I can imagine you are really immersed in your editing now. I'm finding it hard to get the time to write too,but still seem to manage something most weeks. I've just finished the first draft of a big assignment for my studies, so treated myself to another 1000 word binge on Breeding Eccentrics :)

June's World said...

Fun title, it would make one want to read inside.
Your review, Val, makes it enticing to read.

Fran said...

This sounds like a really fun book and one for my list of 'to read'. Congratulations Carol x