Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties – Review

“I spent the first few weeks after Adam’s bombshell waiting for him to wake from this nightmare he had dreamed up for us both and realize the only compassionate, logical thing to do was to come back.”

There are a million things Maggie Harris worries about on a given day. Identity theft. Falling air conditioners. The IRS. You know, things every middle aged woman worries about. The one thing Maggie never even considered was that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her. Until he did.

In trying to find out why he left, and more importantly, who she is without Adam in her life, Maggie realizes that she doesn’t really recognize the woman she’s become. When Adam makes it clear that he isn’t planning on coming back, she decides to find the woman she last knew.

Deciding to go to Rome by herself, uproot her life to a small town for a brief period and a new career, along with joining a divorce support group and even getting back into dating, Maggie finds that she can not just survive without Adam, but thrive. Obviously that’s when disaster strikes.

Faced with a fork in the road, Maggie has to decide if which direction her new life will take her. And if she’s willing to risk losing the new woman she worked so hard to become.

“The best-laid plans can change at any minute. That’s just the way life is. So I try to enjoy whatever I have while I have it.”

This book was a fast easy read. I enjoyed it, but there wasn’t anything shocking or breathtaking for me. It was fairly predictable, which doesn’t make it bad, just not jaw dropping.

It is sprinkled with plenty of life lessons and sound advice. But there were quite a few times when it felt too predictable. There wasn’t really anything that stood out as shocking or surprising in Maggie’s journey. Of course she was sad, and then angry, and then determined. Of course she found herself. Of course she dated. Even her final decisions with Adam were expected.

Everything came together really easily, with not a lot of obstacles in Maggie’s path. I know that her emotional turmoil was more the struggle, but again, that was just a little too easy to really count as struggle. She wasn’t facing abject poverty, didn’t have to get a job working minimum wage to survive, etc. So her struggle had a tinge of privilege to it. Not to mention, there is really no push back or drama with Adam. He basically does whatever she wants, (outside of staying married to her), so again, where is the struggle?

Perhaps being a child of divorce, in a society where divorce is more the norm than long marriages, I just didn’t really relate to Maggie. I’ve read more interesting characters that really had to struggle with serious consequences facing a divorce, so this felt, I don’t know, normal? Bland? She was blind-sided and had to find herself. Nothing deviating from most divorcing middle aged women these days.

Part of my difficulty in relating to Maggie is also that she just isn’t very strong. Adam basically cold heartedly walks out, and while I understand Maggie needs to get through the grieving process, she never really lets go of needing a man. Even if it isn’t Adam. Which is fine. Lots of women feel this way, and I am sure older women feel that maybe more than younger women, but I don’t relate to her. It would have been a much more interesting story if she didn’t need to go through the typical rebounds. And if she stopped dealing with Adam.

This is a good book for taking to the beach or on vacation. It’s not fluff, and it isn’t difficult to follow, so it’s an enjoyable but easy read. It’s a book about a woman finding herself. She has the luxury to be able to do that, so if you’re looking for a profound struggle, this isn’t the book. But, if you are looking for something straightforward to read, something that has a good moral and characters that feel like they could be your neighbors, this is a good book for you.

Thank you NetGalley and Bloom Review Crew for sending me a copy to read and review!

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