A divorced woman, turning 60, decides there are actually advantages to getting old.
In this debut from Ironside, Marie Sharp, advice columnist for The Independent and retired art teacher, makes a remarkable discovery: She likes being old. Free rides on public transit! Free eye exams! Most of all, she likes being alone. Well, alone as in not having a relationship with a man, that is. In fact, she’s given them up. Hasn’t the time for them, really. She has great friends she’s known for more than 40 years, and besides, she has just learned she’s about to achieve that greatest moniker of all: Grannie. When baby Gene is born, Marie thinks her world is complete, but the human condition doesn’t seem primed for stasis, and suddenly Marie finds herself waking in the middle of the night with weird dreams and fears for Gene’s safety: His socks are too tight. Never mind that grass can sprout through tarmac! His feet might be damaged. And her dear friend Hughie, a gay man so physically attractive that even now, after decades of loving friendship, Marie finds herself momentarily wondering if he and she could ever. . . . But she catches herself. She’s given up sex. Resolutely. And anyway, the results from Hughie’s MRI are in—and the news is bad. Hughie is resigned to the fact that he has just months to live, but James, his partner, is bereft. Meanwhile, Marie’s childhood friend Penny has begun a new round of Internet dating—now with a 30-year-old. Through it all, Marie pours out her heart into her journal, but one name keeps popping up: Archie. She had a crush on him in high school, and now he is a widower. Better late than never.
A smart, funny coming-of-old-age novel.