This is the story of Donna, who is fifty at the start of the book and lives in the United States. After apparently leading a nice life with two daughters and a holiday home, she discovers her husband has been having an affair. The memoir follows her life as she gets used to all the changes brought by getting divorced and becoming newly single. We also see glimpses of Donna’s childhood, especially of her abusive mother.
I struggled to understand some of the American cultural references (I guess eating a small bag of Goldfish means something completely different!), but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book and I wanted to follow Donna’s story to find out what happened. Life changes for Donna in many ways and it’s interesting to watch it happen and to discover if she can find happiness. It’s a story about so many things – self-improvement, adapting and trying to work out what you want from life, then being brave enough to go for it.
It’s always good to be able to read something where the lead character is someone around your age. Yoga plays a big part in the book and these sections were interesting too. Donna also decides to begin writing. I could relate to Donna in several ways – her writing, being a single mum, trying dating after a failed relationship, etc.
The book feels very cathartic for the author. In the acknowledgements at the end, she explains it took her six years to write about this period of three years in her life. I think many readers will get comfort and strength from this, which is ultimately a tale of survival.