Monday, June 16, 2008

14,899 Words

A review I read recently, described Isabel Fonseca's novel Attachment, as a 'midlife' book - and that was a bad thing, apparently. It deals with an established marriage, ageing parents, a breast cancer scare, and other fairly ordinary things. Extraordinary things do happen, of course, but within this 'midlife' context.

Is my book going to be labelled the same way? Might it never become an actual book for that very reason? My female protagonist is younger, at thirty-six, but that might be even more problematic. She's not a naive, career-minded twenty-something, nor is she a worldly-wise, experienced forty-something. Is anyone really interested in the trials and tribulations of my age-group? Are we even interested in ourselves?

There is a section of the population, of which I am a part, who rejected the 'Sex & the City' lifestyle of the aspirational singleton in order to marry young, and have children young. We weren't quite teenage 'pramface' mothers, but we had our babies younger than our mothers or aunts did - straight after university, or even instead of university. I spent my twenties changing nappies, rather than concentrating on my career, and now I have nothing to go back to. I was rising quickly up the career ladder at one point, but I think I got off too early, before I had anything very impressive on my CV.

My protagonist feels as lost as I do. But maybe that's not something anyone wants to read about.

A

3 Comments:

Anonymous The Mock Duckling said...

I just read that now and was immediately interested. And I have no kids. Do people have to "be in the same boat" to want to find out about something? Do we sometimes want to read about those who took the other path to examine what our lives might have been like?

9:32 pm  
Anonymous A said...

Thanks Duckling, I really do hope so. I enjoyed Bridget Jones (the 1st one, at least) without being like her. Would 'she' enjoy my story? Perhaps, perhaps not, but the agents/editors are telling us that she probably wouldn't even pick it up off the shelf at Tesco. Not unless it had one of the following in the title (and this is genuine advice, from a genuine literary agent - the ducks know who I'm talking about) love, sugar, pink, chocolate, shopping. !! What is the world coming to?

9:18 am  
Anonymous Jo said...

That is very sad. I am a twenty-something and would definitely prefer to read something other than love, sugar, pink, chocolate, shopping!
Bridget Jones was great in that it showed us girls that, unlike most chick lit suggests, there isn't the perfect man and perfect life just waiting to bump into us at Starbucks - it's a tough world out there for singles. But, as I edge towards 30 I simply don't care about that any more and what I really want to know is did I do the right thing by going to uni and getting the career (which I might add isn't might to write home about) and, is the choice I made at 20 to give up the admin job to study the reason I am now single? (NONE of my school friends went to college let alone uni and are all either married or engaged).
So, I for one (and I expect there are thousands more) would really appreciate to read about a 36 year old who has the life that I think I may have cast away - just to see...

8:17 pm  

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