BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, October 28, 2011

Review of "The Last Blind Date" by Linda Yellin

Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Buying Links:  Amazon     The Book Depository
Book Blurb (from goodreads):

A fun, charming memoir about a woman who falls in love, packs her bags, and starts over in the city that eats its young.

Teaser:
Randy continued my school lesson. "Some people think--and not necessarily me--that if your child doesn't get into a good preschool, he won't get into a good power or middle school, will never be accepted to a top high school, and then has no chance of getting into an Ivy League college."

"All because he flunked blocks?"


"Yes."

"And were you ever married to any of the people who think this way?"


"Well, maybe."

My Thoughts:

I don't read much non-fiction, and what I do is usually work related. I occasionally read memoirs but it's not a genre that I particularly care for.  This book was touted as a mix of Erma Bombeck, Tina Fey, and Nora Ephron. I always enjoyed reading Erma's humor books so I thought I'd give this book a chance. While I didn't love it, I did it enjoy it a lot.  Yellin has a relaxed, chatty writing style and she doesn't spare herself or the people around her but she's never unkind.
 
Yellin writes about her long distance courtship with the man who becomes her second husband and her decision to marry him and move to New York where he lives. It's a second marriage for him also and he has two kids, which makes the formerly childless Yellin a stepmother. While the book is a love story, it's also a look at the risks and joys of starting over and re-inventing yourself. The author gives us a peek into her anxieties, hopes, and insecurities as she adjusts to:  a new husband, a new city, a new job, and being a stepmother. While I'm not a stepmother nor do I have kids, I am a stepdaughter and stepsister so I was able to relate to the step-family dramas as well as moving to a new state and starting a new job. That relatability is key to the book. Yellin is Every Woman, a normal American 21st Century woman. Haven't most of us, at some point in our lives, had to start over in a new job or new neighborhood, and tried to make new friends, tried to fit in and belong? If you've ever been in a serious relationship, married or otherwise, you've had to learn the ins and outs of accommodating and making room for that person in your life and fitting into theirs. 

The book starts with a brief recap of Yellin's life up until she meets Randy, her eventual husband, and covers their two and a half year relationship and the first four years of their marriage. It has a sweet ending, that nicely rounds out their story. 

Unlike many memoirs on book shelves, Linda Yellin is an ordinary woman. She's not a movie star, not a talk show host, not a musician or any other celebrity She's just a woman, trying to find her place in the world and make sense out of life. That normalcy was a large part of the book's appeal for me. Additionally, while Yellin doesn't get deep and philosophical, she does share with us some of the insights she's gained over the years. It's like having a nice long conversation over drinks with a friend that you've been out of touch with for several years.

 "The Last Blind Date" is a quick read and an enjoyable one, full of humor, laughs and sweet moments, and hard-earned insights. 

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