My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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sparkling wine and a gift

A bit hungover. Too much Prosecco. Mmm. My spectacular son cooked a birthday meal – an extraordinary French onion soup to start, then a fish course, red snapper with rosemary and lemon, then marinated pork loin on the barbecue with grilled vegetables, a sweet potato garlic mash, and salads. A group of us sat on the deck for hours, hence the disappearance of much sparkling wine, and some red too. A most delicious evening of friendship, family and food. And messages shooting in all day from friends, including a lot of Sam’s old friends on Facebook. Facebook is certainly good at drumming up messages.

This was my first birthday without my mother. No call from or to her. And it’s also the first birthday ever that Auntie Do forgot. For at least 60 years, she has sent a card for every birthday. I guess I’m a grown-up now. I missed my mummy.

A message this morning that meant a great deal – from my friend Duncan, who’s the first to give me feedback on the manuscript. He’s at his cottage, reading on the dock, so that might have helped his rosy view. He said the beginning was slow and too girly and “teenybopper” for him and that there were too many fantasy stories, he skipped right over most of them.

But he also said, “This is a story worth telling,” and that it read like a novel. He liked the characters. No, he said he “loved the characters.” He laughed out loud a number of times. He said the issues of family, maturation and sexuality were believable and true, drew him in, made him think about his own daughters and his dynamic with them. And he finishes:

I know you wanted more criticism perhaps but your style is very warm and inviting and easy to read. I was as critical as I could be.
What a great gift this book is to your children and your grandchildren. They get to share a part of their mother that the rest of us never see in our own mothers. I don’t really know who my parents were and that makes me sad. Your book is so very personal.  

What a great gift to me are your words, Duncan, a wonderful birthday present. I suspected that about the stories and will look at the beginning. But I’m very happy that for you, at least, it was a good read.

Now to take my aching head into the day.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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