Paperback: 309 pages
Publisher: Bascom Hill Books (July 15, 2009)
O TO 60 is Susan Slater’s debut women’s fiction novel with that all too true-to-life story of a woman dumped. Meet Shelly Sinclair, matriarch of the quintessential American family. Shelly’s life is perfect, one most women would envy: a 35 year marriage to a successful doc, two grown sons, a beautiful home, and the security of predictability. Without warning, this world collapses. Her husband of a lifetime announces that he’s asked someone to marry him, a someone thirty-nine years his junior. And, oh yes, the mother of his four-year-old child. Alone. To start over. Sixty is a long way from sixteen. Is Prince Charming still out there? But isn’t there more? Her quest to find self is as endearing as it is enduring. Because maybe, just maybe these are the best years of her life.
We first meet Shelly and her husband Ed as they are getting ready to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. While getting dressed for the big party, Ed drops the bombshell that not only is he not going to the party, he has a love child and has asked the mother to marry him. Happy anniversary Shelly!
To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would like this book. I mean, who wants to read about a 60 year old being dumped by her husband for a much younger woman? But Slater is a skilled writer, and we come to care about Shelly and how she handles this major upheaval. We sympathize with her struggle to get back her equilibrium, and cheer when she overcomes the various bumps along the way. But don’t get the wrong impression, as this book is also very funny!
While I didn’t agree with all of the decisions she made, Shelly was a totally believable character and I understood her motivations. I wound up envying her friend Patrice, and would love to hang out with these two ladies!
I really enjoyed this book, and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.