Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
Have you ever read a book that acted so distinctly like a mirror to yourself that it is both painful and comforting in the same moment? For me, Susannah Nix’s Mad about Ewe is that such book. From the first chapter to the last, her heroine’s experience in many ways is my own. Almost to 50 – check. Older children who no longer really need her – check. Finding herself in the midst of middle age and a new identity – check. While I am not divorced like Nix’s heroine, Dawn Botstein’s marriage feels, in many ways, like my own, and Susannah Nix’s story made me both uncomfortable and comforted in equal measure. As a reader, I love experiences like that, when a book forces me to face truths about myself that I don’t want to face in my daily life. I, like many, walk through life in the midst of a daily apathy, simply sleepwalking through it. Yet, when you read a book such as Mad about Ewe, you can’t help but become introspective especially if you are living through a huge life transition, much like Dawn Botstein. Even more, in the world of romance, there are few authors willing to write about the experiences of a hero and heroine in their late 40s. When you find these stories, you cling to them, as I did to Nix’s book.
I think this is what I love so much about the Smartypants Romance books, Each book finds its own space and offers up a piece of romancelandia so that the SPR audience can find themselves represented in SPR’s books. For me, Susannah Nix’s Mad about Ewe found me, evoked me, connected with me. In the grand spectrum of romance, is Nix doing something different with her story? Not really. Dawn and Mike were friends, acquaintances really, in high school, and Dawn pined for Mike. Yet, Mike was too invested in living the life of a popular high school student even though he also carried a bit of a torch for Dawn. Meeting decades later, these two get their chance. As Mike works through his insecurity of never having graduated college and living a meager existence in a job he hates and Dawn finds happiness after a two decades-long marriage that never really fulfilled her, Susannah Nix shows us that it is never too late to advocate for yourself, to make choices that take you on a different journey. Basically, you are never too old, even if your birthday numbers make you seem so. In Mad about Ewe, there is a promise that life doesn’t end at middle-age. Instead, every day is an opportunity to live your best life. As an aside, Susannah Nix’s book also brings you back to Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City world with surprise cameos throughout. What else do you need to read this book?
In love and romance,