Thank you, Claire Cook, for giving me my new mantra.
“There are only two choices: afraid and boring.”
This quote comes from Cook’s latest book, Time Flies. My own BFF from high school and I have had the same conversation as Melanie, the heroine of this book, and her BFF have. Do we go to our reunion or don’t we?
When we meet Melanie, she is wielding a chain saw to dismantle her marital bed for parts for a metal sculpture. I was already rooting for her. Unlike her high school classmates, I never met her husband, and even I know she was always too good for him.
Cook herself knows a little something about mid-life reinvention. She didn’t write her first novel until age 45. Presumably she had some fears to overcome, so the way she describes Melanie’s fears rings very true.
The supporting characters face issues that many women of a similar age must deal with: a mother-in-law with dementia, a child who is safer with granny than with her parents. The book never descends into pathos however. Melanie’s quest to find herself is also packed with details that made me laugh out loud.
What is the takeaway? If my high school ever has another reunion, I’ll be there.