Sunday, January 02, 2011

No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club

By Virginia Ironside

Marie Sharp is 59 going on 60 and has decided to keep a journal of her sixtieth year. She is divorced and has a grown son Jack who is now married with a babe of his own on the way. Marie is looking forward to being elderly and is determined not to try to hang on to her youth which she feels is rather pathetic. She is also determined not to partake in those activities popular in her age group, such as joining a book club. She wants to live her life on her own terms, facing the future with fearless calm. Of course, she is not quite able to live up that, finding herself with sudden attacks of terror about her new grandson and, naturally, facing the sort of declines that everyone faces if they manage to live long enough: achy joints, failing eyesight, faltering memory and the possibility of degenerative disease. In the meantime, a very dear friend is diagnosed with cancer and only has a few months left.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Marie often castigates herself but she really is a sweet lady, and sharing a little of her life was pretty enjoyable. In the course of the story it turns out that Marie has been there and done that and is now ready for a more laid back life. She even swears off sex, claiming it just messes everything up. For the most part it was an entertaining story, although I found the last part rather dreary as it chronicles her friend's decline and death. But overall, it was a good read.

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