What happens when a single woman defines herself by the men she dates and her work as a television writer? You guessed it. She’s dumped and fired. Amy figured that by the time she was thirty, she would have a successful career, an adoring husband, and two wonderful children. Soon, she’s thirty-five, then thirty-seven creeps up, and now she’s almost forty, and she’s no closer to her goal. Could she just be a “late bloomer”?
New York writer and columnist Amy Cohen hilariously discloses her life of self-discovery in her memoir, The Late Bloomer’s Revolution. With it comes such accomplishments as learning to ride a bike at age thirty-five, and, at thirty-nine, finally figuring out how to cook spaghetti with canned sauces. On the other hand, she loses her mother to cancer and is dumped by men who simply quit calling after numerous dates.
Amy does have a boyfriend while her mother is terminally ill; he says he wants to marry her. However, after her mom’s death, he breaks up with her. A stress-induced rash infests her face, scaring off little children—let alone desirable men. Even her father, now a widower, manages to find a lot more dates than she does.
I laughed so hard while reading this book that I was dying to phone a friend to recite certain passages. One such incident of hilarious self-analysis is when Amy compares herself to a house that “men were happy to rent, but when it came time to buy, they balked.” Former boyfriends told her that a relationship with her required a lot of work. Instead of being the brand new house she was “the fixer-upper” that a real estate agent would stress “could be a gem if you’re willing to do an enormous, exhausting amount of work.” And if she kept eating the way she currently was (due to stress) she would be “the biggest house on the block.”
There’s also the time she’s vacationing in Europe with her mother and she meets a handsome, single doctor who’s quite interested…in her mother. Years later, she goes on a bicycle tour of the Canadian Rockies only to be pitied by the other vacationers, simply because she’s traveling solo.
However, one of my favorite parts is her job as a dating correspondent on a cable television channel. Her producer hammers her to emphasize sex and the glamour of the Singles Scene. But when she’s done with her assignment (as in the event “Get Drunk and Paint!”), she just returns to her apartment and rolls into her pajamas.
What makes this book such a gem is that along with the intense humor is a bittersweet undertone that we can all relate to: rejection, insecurity, family dynamics, and relationships with friends and acquaintances. This isn’t a book about self-pity. It’s one of self-realization. While reading The Late Bloomer’s Revolution, you may even think you’re reading chapters in your own life. It just may hit you that hard.
(review previously published on www.nightsandweekends.com)