In Williams' debut novel, a 40-year-old woman desperately attempts to find her soul mate.
When Jane Parker receives a copy of Lonely No More: How to Meet Your Soulmate in Less Than a Year on her birthday, she launches her “Find a Man Before I’m Forty project.” She shares her home with a dachshund named Wanker, takes secret bass guitar lessons from a former member of the Spastic Colons, and has a busy career as a CPA—but all this isn’t enough for her. So Jane joins a singles bowling league, goes on many bad dates, and engages in disappointing sex. Like her literary predecessor Bridget Jones, she obsesses about her weight (“I’ve lost ten of the nineteen pounds I’d gained at the end of the summer but am still feeling fat and self-conscious”), experiences baby lust, and fears spinsterhood. At 40, the still-single Jane sets new standards for herself (“No more bars or meat raffles, or dating men who have the same ex-wife”) and takes out a personal ad. Just as she learns to accept singlehood, a partner at the accounting firm shoots her and a manager. Injured but undaunted, this crisis makes her realize she “will never chase men again.” As she contemplates having a baby on her own, a chance meeting with a policeman renews her faith in love. Williams excels at environmental descriptions and scene-setting, but her personal interactions can lack depth: “Our date starts out great; there’s chemistry between us. I love his accent and the way he talks adoringly about his two kids.” Her dialogue is consistently funny: “ ‘So you’re a loner with an alcohol problem who hates kids.’ ‘I’m not fond of animals, either.’ ” She also veers into either too much information territory or hilarity: “His penis was the size of my thumb. Beside his belly it looked like a pickle on a plate.”
An entertaining, if stereotypical, story of a single woman searching for a mate.