Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE MIDDLE AGES by Jennie Fields

THE MIDDLE AGES

By Jennie Fields

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-688-14590-6
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

A New York architect loses her job and falls in love—in this spry little Brooklyn-set romance.

One thing among many that sets Jane Larsen apart from so many modern female protagonists is the refreshing lack of neuroses. Not to mention a purpose in her life. To wit: She isn’t happy with her fortysomething body but no more so than is to be expected. She doesn’t work at a glossy magazine, clocking in every day for over two decades at a Manhattan architectural firm instead. She’s got two teenaged daughters on the verge of becoming true hellions, an ex-husband who’s not exactly what she wanted (thus the divorce) but a decent enough father, and a gorgeous Park Slope brownstone that she restored herself. The complication in Jane’s life is not a midlife crisis—though she does have a certain lack of drive these days—but a much more practical concern: She just got fired. Stepping quite ably into the gap, Jane’s best friend Peggy sets her up with a guy who’s devastatingly handsome, adores Jane and, happily enough, needs a house designed. The fact that this is all just too neat should come as no surprise. More out of left field is the friendship Jane has just renewed with an old college flame, Jack, a fellow architect, via e-mail. Jane and Jack stumble toward romance in their increasingly passionate and revealing letters while, meantime, Jane tries to figure out what she’s going to do with her life. Perhaps after finishing the just-too-pat ending, some readers may think that they’ve been had, that Fields (Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, 1997, etc.) tricked them into thinking she was going to deliver a more serious and meaningful piece of work. But Fields has such a smooth, knowing way with her characters—only very occasionally slipping into melodrama—that it’s easy to let her get away with just about everything.

Warm and welcoming fiction that should benefit from some very strong word-of-mouth.