A single, middle-aged, Midwestern author and magazine writer’s life is transformed after being set up with a commitment-phobic man from New York.
Yellin (Such a Lovely Couple, 1991) recounts the trials of long-distance romance, becoming a stepmother and creating a life on the East Coast. Five years after a marriage that ended in heartbreak, the author finally acknowledged her loneliness. She was ready for romance, but she didn’t want to experience the hassles that accompany dating. “I longed to skip the getting-to-know-you part and immediately jump to the rent-a-movie-and-order-in–some-Chinese part,” she writes.” Her relationship with Randy began with a long-distance phone call, progressed to longer calls and then trips to New York. After two years of dating, Yellin finally met his children. The couple married, and the author began the difficult adjustment to the unfamiliar terrain of her family and city. “When I wasn’t trying to navigate the children,” she writes, “I was trying to navigate New York.” The majority of the narrative consists of Yellin’s humorous accounts of deciphering the subway system; understanding the differences between being Jewish and from Chicago and being Jewish and from New York; and becoming a good stepmother. The author also candidly describes the hothouse environment of her new job overseeing the advertising for a TV network. “The network was packed with women in their forties all going through their menopausal worst on the same day: throwing tantrums, screaming in the hallways, slamming doors,” she writes. “I felt like I was in a women’s prison movie except instead of a cell I had a corner office.” Eventually, the author began to feel at home, and she made peace with her stepchildren.
Filled with lots of girl-talk, this memoir will appeal to readers who can’t get enough of the beginning, middle and sweet endings of love stories.