What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?
On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn't look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding towards her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly-aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary "break" from her live-in boyfriend results in a "break-up," Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn't always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.
Kathryn - 5 Star
I confess that I have been meaning to one of Meredith Schorr’s books for a long time and I wish I’d slotted one into the list before now because I really enjoyed her writing in this novel. How Do You Know? feels different than other romantic women’s fiction and I think that’s because there was a maturity in her characters and a depth I sometimes find lacking in other books.
Maggie is approaching a birthday which scares the pants off her- she isn’t quite sure why the number is weighing so heavily on her mind but it’s enough to make her question the relationship she’s in and ask for a chance to see what else is out there. I liked that at that early point in the novel Schorr doesn’t give us the entire picture of her relationship with her live-in boyfriend- we aren’t aware of the depth of their relationship or how they interact. I actually supported Maggie’s decision to see if she could find the passion she was seeking. Throughout the rest of the story though we are slowly given more details about their lives together and I felt much empathy for Maggie, the boyfriend and their confusion.
Meredith Schorr’s novel is impactful and very funny- there are plenty of supporting roles that I grew attached to and none of them were superfluous to the story. Maggie’s friends and co-workers were key in her exploration but I think that she, herself, was the most important player in her voyage throughout the book. I was so happy in the ending, it was perhaps expected by some but I was still unsure how it would all turn out- I like that about a book!
How Do You Know was a great read. I am so glad I finally got to this author on my reading list and I’ll be keeping a watchful eye to see what comes up next.
Thank you to Booktrope for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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