Whatever our situation or background, it's hugely comforting and reassuring to know there are people just like us, going through the same experiences. It’s the reason I've always read blogs when in need of comfort or insight, and it's why I started sharing my own writing too.
No one tells you this is the memoir of Glynnis Macnicol, a writer who is finally 'living the dream' in New York City. It strikes just the right balance between a life that’s inspiring and aspirational - for example her freedom to follow her gut instinct and the amazing places that takes her - and imperfect and relatable. Her account of a funeral where everyone except her had a partner's reassuring, dependable arm around their shoulder resonated with me deeply, while her press trip to Iceland and the opportunity she carved out for herself to go and work in Wyoming had me seriously considering whether I can do something similar when the time is right.
The fact that for once, the story didn’t hinge upon a ‘traditional’ boy meets girl ending was also hugely affirming to me. Although still open to meeting someone, Glynnis has made her own happiness and after many struggles, is living a life she loves. This type of affirmation is like a balm to the soul of us single people but is something we have to look particularly hard for; I mean for god's sake, even Eat Pray Love ended with a couple literally sailing into the sunset!
I'd recommend this book to anyone but particularly those in their 40s and 50s who have perhaps not ended up living the life they may have envisaged and are keen to embrace what they have, not what they don't. Glynnis gets right to the heart of what it means to veer between feeling you’re free, content and actually onto something pretty special, and that you’re missing out or somehow inadequate. And if you’re someone who wonders - or envies - what a life without a partner or family might look like, or you want to learn more about the experience of friends who live that type of lifestyle, it’ll be hugely worthwhile for you too.
When you water and nurture it, the grass can be green and lush in your own garden, so you’re not as tempted to peer over the fence at someone else’s (just so we're clear, I just made that up - I haven’t stolen it from Glynnis, but it’s kind of what I took from reading the book).
Definitely one I’d recommend, and I’d love to hear whether there are similar books you’d recommend in this genre too.