This book is totally relatable to me, seeing as I’ve just turned the BIG 50 and some scenarios in my life were very similar to those I read in this book.
It starts from her fear of hitting menopause, to her relationship with husband Mike, who is going through mid life emotions, their two teenage children Freddie, 17 and Kirsty, 15 and their raging hormones and also the care of her elderly parents, especially her mother’s dodgy knee.
However, the author, Tracy Bloom has written about these situations in a funny, sweet and believable manner.
Cathy is given a motivational diary for Christmas by her rich sister who lives in California. This makes Cathy question her life and makes her realise she does actually need to take control of her life Whereby she occasionally puts herself before others and sets herself some targets notwithstanding the hassles that pop up with teenage children and ageing parents.
The book starts with Cathy taking her son’s dog for a walk in the same woodland because she looks forward to bumping into the same young man during these walks. I immediately thought she would succumb to a dreaded midlife crisis affair – thankfully, I was wrong! But it is strange how the author wrote about Cathy’s thoughts and feelings towards the young Toby.
The fact she gains a career out of her chance meetings with Toby is fantastic especially the roll she plays in “The Mustard Factory” complex with all the young workers there.
This book has been well written in the realms of the reality of everyday life. From the happiness of making amends with close family, rekindling a new and deeper love for her husband and being a supportive and caring friend when others are really in a crisis, as was the case with Tania and Hazel in this story.
It is a book full of laughter and tears and thought provoking changes, that could actually mimic your average day to day life.
Many of the things that annoy Cathy were so relevant to me – like dealing with two teenage children, elderly parents and wanting to do something for myself rather than others all the time. I especially found the piece about “the Chat” and her DSR annoyances, really amusing.
On the other hand, one of the most poignant pieces in the book was the character Tania’s beautiful eulogy to her wife Hazel, the tears were trickling down my cheeks. So sincere and relatable, tragic circumstances can sometimes bring true clarity.
At the end of the book I was glad to see Cathy triumph in her work life and with her family and friends Not forgetting that she also made time for herself and found her true purpose for the next stage of her life.
The only downside for me is the fact it is written as a diary in a year in the life of Cathy Collins. Personally, I don’t necessarily like books in this format, but I understand why it fitted so well with the series of events in this particular book.
It was good to have a book written about the menopause in such an easy going fun manner and to know that millions of us women have some of the same anxieties and thoughts. Books like this help take away the stigma of not sharing our worries and triumphs about the menopause.
So, well done Tracy Bloom, I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading this book and will certainly look forward to her next tale.