In her second memoir, Rossman (First Love, Last Dance, 2009) tells of how she developed a close, enduring friendship with a boyfriend’s mother.
The author tells the story of her search for love and connection in her 30s after her divorce. At first, it seemed that connection might be with Tim, a much younger college student whom she met at her tennis court. When she met Tim’s mother, Lynda, the two became fast friends. Lynda, a vivacious woman who ate, drank and flirted her way through middle age, is an appealing character, and they developed a deep friendship that lasted long after the author’s relationship with Tim came to a natural end. Lynda became a source of stability in the author’s life as she found new love, and underwent other life and career changes. Furthermore, she learned that she, too, could support Lynda through difficult times. Overall, Rossman’s theme—that the meaningful friendship between two women can endure through romantic changes and other ups and downs—is highly engaging, and brings this memoir to life. However, the prose is a little flat at times; for example, the prologue is hampered by clunky exposition: “My decision to divorce my husband and give him primary custody of our infant daughter shamed my family….My success helped me overcome feelings of inadequacy and the money I earned gave me independence for the first time.” Such facts and ideas might have unfolded much more naturally if they’d been revealed via people’s interactions. The story reaches a seemingly inevitable tear-jerking twist at the end. All in all, Rossman’s story has a lot of heart. However, the writing could have been a little more robust.
An earnest, if uneven, memoir that serves as a testament to the power of friendship.