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Senior Online Dating


This delightful book is less of a how-to guide and more of an entertaining, inspirational memoir about finding love and...

An instructional guide coupled with a humorous memoir that discusses the benefits and perils of online dating for older adults.

When the author’s beloved wife of more than four decades passed away, he fell into a three-year depression. Slowly, he began the process of moving forward. He sold his house and relocated to a small apartment, at which point his sister gave him a subscription to an Internet dating website. After some internal turmoil, he dove into the waters of online dating and found great joy in socializing with new people. In his debut book, the author explains what senior citizens can expect when looking for love on the Internet. With plenty of wit and good-natured self-deprecation, he describes his successes at playing the dating game—and his mishaps, as when lying about his age led to an uncomfortable conversation with a potential mate. He offers an honest, clever perspective on writing an online biography, poking gentle fun at people who list “long walks on the beach” and other stereotypical lines as their interests. He also gives helpful tips on navigating challenges his peers are likely to face, from dining on a fixed income to traveling with limited mobility options. (A retired ophthalmologist, he lost his driving license due to an eye disease, about which he quips, “I did appreciate God’s fine sense of humor…had I been a neurosurgeon, I would have undoubtedly developed a brain tumor.”) The book would benefit from a bit more information on avoiding malicious characters or online scammers, and a few points are repeated more than once, such as the challenges of an active sex life at an advanced age and the author’s gentlemanly refusal to let his dates pay for their meals. However, the charming and disarmingly honest vignettes compensate for the lack of instructional information. Overall, the book’s charismatic tone and the author’s moving personal journey prove to be a winning, memorable combination.

This delightful book is less of a how-to guide and more of an entertaining, inspirational memoir about finding love and happiness after loss.

Pub Date: April 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-1482051766

Page Count: 140

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2013

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A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

Fremont (After Long Silence, 1999) continues—and alters—her story of how memories of the Holocaust affected her family.

At the age of 44, the author learned that her father had disowned her, declaring her “predeceased”—or dead in his eyes—in his will. It was his final insult: Her parents had stopped speaking to her after she’d published After Long Silence, which exposed them as Jewish Holocaust survivors who had posed as Catholics in Europe and America in order to hide multilayered secrets. Here, Fremont delves further into her tortured family dynamics and shows how the rift developed. One thread centers on her life after her harrowing childhood: her education at Wellesley and Boston University, the loss of her virginity to a college boyfriend before accepting her lesbianism, her stint with the Peace Corps in Lesotho, and her decades of work as a lawyer in Boston. Another strand involves her fraught relationship with her sister, Lara, and how their difficulties relate to their father, a doctor embittered after years in the Siberian gulag; and their mother, deeply enmeshed with her own sister, Zosia, who had married an Italian count and stayed in Rome to raise a child. Fremont tells these stories with novelistic flair, ending with a surprising theory about why her parents hid their Judaism. Yet she often appears insensitive to the serious problems she says Lara once faced, including suicidal depression. “The whole point of suicide, I thought, was to succeed at it,” she writes. “My sister’s completion rate was pathetic.” Key facts also differ from those in her earlier work. After Long Silence says, for example, that the author grew up “in a small city in the Midwest” while she writes here that she grew up in “upstate New York,” changes Fremont says she made for “consistency” in the new book but that muddy its narrative waters. The discrepancies may not bother readers seeking psychological insights rather than factual accuracy, but others will wonder if this book should have been labeled a fictionalized autobiography rather than a memoir.

A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982113-60-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A straightforward tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York.

When advertising executive Schroff answered a child’s request for spare change by inviting him for lunch, she did not expect the encounter to grow into a friendship that would endure into his adulthood. The author recounts how she and Maurice, a promising boy from a drug-addicted family, learned to trust each other. Schroff acknowledges risks—including the possibility of her actions being misconstrued and the tension of crossing socio-economic divides—but does not dwell on the complexities of homelessness or the philosophical problems of altruism. She does not question whether public recognition is beneficial, or whether it is sufficient for the recipient to realize the extent of what has been done. With the assistance of People human-interest writer Tresniowski (Tiger Virtues, 2005, etc.), Schroff adheres to a personal narrative that traces her troubled relationship with her father, her meetings with Maurice and his background, all while avoiding direct parallels, noting that their childhoods differed in severity even if they shared similar emotional voids. With feel-good dramatizations, the story seldom transcends the message that reaching out makes a difference. It is framed in simple terms, from attributing the first meeting to “two people with complicated pasts and fragile dreams” that were “somehow meant to be friends” to the conclusion that love is a driving force. Admirably, Schroff notes that she did not seek a role as a “substitute parent,” and she does not judge Maurice’s mother for her lifestyle. That both main figures experience a few setbacks yet eventually survive is never in question; the story fittingly concludes with an epilogue by Maurice. For readers seeking an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter.


Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4251-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Howard Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

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