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EXAMINING LIFE IN MIDSEASON

Chasing Men - Edwina Currie

"CHASING MEN" is a nice, pleasant novel -- one that can be comfortably read at leisure over the course of a late spring/summer day. The novel's main character is Hetty Clarkson, a middle-aged woman from Dorset who has moved to London (setting is late 1990s) upon finding her husband in bed with another woman. (A divorce soon follows.) 

Over the course of a year and a number of months, the reader is witness to the varied transformations Hetty undergoes in her life in terms of relationships, friends, and the resumption of a career in TV after having faithfully fulfilled the role of housewife and mother for most of her adult life. 

The following quote is illustrative of Hetty Clarkson's new, single life: "It came to Hetty that, if she were ever to share her living space again, it would not be in the all-enveloping manner she had accepted before. She would not cook every evening, for a start; they would eat out far more, or grab whatever was in the fridge. Salads and cold ham were far healthier than hotpot, anyhow. A pear for afters was better than homemade pastry, so lovingly created, so quickly scoffed. How willingly she had slaved, how seldom it had been appreciated."

The greatest value of this novel is in its presentation of what life can be like for any middle-aged person who finds him/herself suddenly adrift and making efforts to forge a satisfying autonomous existence in a buzzing metropolis.