Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties / by Chatti Brown


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At fifty-three, Maggie Harris has a good marriage and two mostly happy children. Perpetually anxious, she’s also accumulated a list of semi-reasonable fears: falling air conditioners, the IRS, identity theft, skydiving, and airbag recalls. But never once did Maggie worry that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her.

On the day Adam walks out the door, everything that makes Maggie secure goes with him. Only then does she realize that while she’s been busy caring for everyone else, she’s become invisible to the world—and to herself.

Maggie cautiously begins to rebuild her life with a trip to Rome, a new career, and even a rebound romance. But when a fresh crisis strikes and an uncertain future looms, she must decide: How much will she risk to remain the woman she’s just become?

My Thoughts:

I wanted to like this book- the cover was interesting, the title definitely caught my attention, but there were too many cliches to fully enjoy it. The premise: husband has mid life crisis and leaves wife for a younger woman. Newly divorced woman takes trip to Rome alone and so on and so on. Insert eye rolls here. The book definitely had potential but once another love interest was introduced, I felt the story became stale. I had hope for something new but Pagan basically stuck to the same script, making this book lost in all the other middle age crisis stories.

While I understood Maggie's lost of identity after years of being a caretaker, her decisions were rather predictable. My biggest complaint about this story is that ultimately, Maggie has to chose between two men. If the point of self-discovery is to find herself, why must there be a man in the picture for her to see her true worth? I'm not hating on romance- I understand wanting to wake up next to a warm body- but I don't understand why she needed to be in a relationship at all. It felt superficial and took away from the writing style, which I did enjoy. I would have preferred a more open ended ending than the one written. Perhaps I went into this thinking it would be contemporary fiction and came out of it realizing it was contemporary romance. This is more of a light read, one in which you read it and forget about it. To be fair, sometimes you need this type of book to offset the gut punching ones. Pick it up for a brief "good time" but don't expect a heart racing love affair.

I received a galley of the book via Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review.