Sunday, April 7, 2013

Guest Book Review: This Thirtysomething Life

By Sara Steven

Meet Harry Spencer. Drinker. Slacker. Deadbeat teacher. Overeater. Suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome.

And he’s soon to be someone’s father?!?

In Jon Rance’s debut novel, This Thirtysomething Life, we get a glimpse into the psyche of man. Harry Spencer is sublimely the classic type B personality (laid back, casual) while his wife Emily is an all out Type A (time urgent) causing comedic, yet gritty fights and drama. Harry chronicles these moments and other perspectives of life through his journal, and all hell breaks loose when he finds out that Emily is pregnant. What’s a guy to do?

I was waiting for this novel to read like a male version of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, but discovered that nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, you quickly learn that Harry is the prototype for how most men would react
and feel to the imminent changes that lie ahead when it comes to marriage, parenthood, relationships, and life in general. He can’t seem to ever catch a break. I was laughing out loud to terminology like “man-tention span”, teary-eyed during moments of contemplation, and yet there were times I found myself rather annoyed with him. I fully expected to hate Harry when he became entangled in a situation regarding an ex-girlfriend, yet I found myself feeling sorry for the poor chap, caught in the middle between an old love and his beloved wife.

Be prepared for a very candid, honest, hilarious read, and if you are looking to get inside the male brain (and get a taste reminiscent to movies Mr. Mom or Nine Months), you came to the right place.

If you like the book and are ready for more? Well, Jon Rance is currently working on his second novel, Happy Endings, so no need to fret. Take a cue from Harry here, and work on your Type B personality skills. In the meantime, you can read a sort-of prequel about how it all began in This Twentysomething Life, which is currently free for Kindle.

Sara Steven is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two rambunctious boys in Bellevue, NE. When she’s not running marathons, getting certified in group fitness instruction, or working on her novel, she takes a break and opens up a good book (or turns on her Nook). Find her at her blog, Momarock.

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