In theory women in the Thirty-something age group have their lives fully organized, are set in their ways and looking forward to the late evenings: husband back home; children in bed; dishes in the dishwasher; peace and quiet with a cuddle on the sofa in front of the television. In reality many are still thinking with their late teen early Twenty-something heads, wondering where all the years have gone as they race towards forty, checking the mirror for wrinkles and seeking support for their appearance. Well, so we are told by the many woman’s magazines you can buy each month. Lena is one of those Thirty-something women who doesn’t quite fit in with the general picture: she works on a monthly woman’s magazine; has recently split from her longtime partner; has only just discovered Facebook and the pleasures of blogging and is stuck between the worlds of single and about to be married.
This light and comical book is a mixture of romance, intrigue, commentary on the state of younger women as they shift towards ‘ripe’ and ‘cougar’, ‘mature’ and ‘settled’. She still has something of her younger years as a memory but, after many years together with Karsten, has forgotten how to flirt and what it is to be out and about with a single lifestyle. All this she needs to recapture, or feels that she does, and the best way is to go out – in this case to the holiday island of Sylt – and reintroduce herself to the world. She signs up for Facebook, starts writing a blog, and begins to invent herself as a new person.
Graphic Source: Unknown – Tumblr
Or, at least, that is what she plans. As with all good lifestyle humor, this doesn’t quite work out the way she had planned: work isn’t exactly what she had planned; the opportunities for the somewhat older woman are limited; the other man, in whom she falls head over heels in love, already has a steady girlfriend. Even worse, she has hardly any Facebook friends and her blog is mainly chalking up visits from herself. Not exactly the best start.
We are taken on a rough ride as Lena tries to bring her life back on the straight and narrow, as she takes chances, battles her female rivals and comes to terms with the reality of a public life on the Internet. And we are allowed to share this ride through her blog entries as if, since almost everything is written up, we are there ourselves. I do not doubt that quite a few readers will find themselves in this book, one way or another, and their real life friends too and, of course, the realities of friends on Facebook who, as we know, do not simply stream through the ether and sign up for our status updates as if there was nothing more worthwhile than following what we have to say.
To be honest, for me at least, a book based exclusively on blog posts in this form doesn’t quite work – but that’s just me coupled with my own personal experiences as a blogger and (former) Facebook user. Some of the posts do not come across as authentic but, and this is the main point, they are still fun to read. We have an Internet-unaware woman, starting life afresh with a total lack of single-life experience but a seemingly strong will to succeed by any means possible. All in all a very enjoyable read with several moments where the reader laughs – mainly at Lena’s inexperience and fantasy beliefs in the power of the Internet as a friend-finder or dating agency – or shake their head at the lengths some people will go to impress. I do not doubt that quite a few Thirty-something women will find themselves here and, as such, this is a fun, enjoyable book to read.
- Viktoria Michaelis.