Real Life: One Woman's Guide to Love, Men and Other Everyday Disasters by Melissa Kite

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Real Life: One Woman's Guide to Love, Men and Other Everyday Disasters by Melissa Kite

Category: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A light-hearted and amusing look at some of the problem faced by single woman of a certain age. An easy, engaging read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: June 2012
Publisher: Constable
ISBN: 978-1780331911

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We're used to thinking about career women who have it all: the high-flyer who goes home to her husband, children and immaculate house to plan their next holiday and their social life. We might not know these people - but everything seems to tell us that they're there. What, though, of the single woman, no longer in the first flush of youth (that's probably nineteen, these days) who struggles just to keep going? What of the woman who struggles to keep the boiler going and who is tempted to kidnap the television repairman and tie him to the bed because she's convinced that the television will stop working the moment he goes?

If any of that has brought a wry smile to your face - or perhaps even elicited a weary nod - then this is the book for you. Melissa Kite, journalist and columnist for the Spectator and GQ magazine has been there, not done it all and would wash the tee shirt if only the washing machine was working. It's a memoir of a particular time in her life when the most useful man of her acquaintance was an Albanian builder and the thought of marriage did flit through her mind.

You'll laugh. Those of us who are not single might be tempted to point out that we have to deal with all the same problems, plus a man. Personally, I was infuriated by parts of the book - Melissa was involved with a man where the most charitable diagnosis was Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in a Big Way, but the more accurate one would be Complete Psychotic. When you discover that a man has nine identical suits and everything else carefully arranged in sets of nine you don't hang around to see how much worse it can get. Melissa did, occasionally muttering 'At least I might get a column out of this'. I was shouting RUN.

It's light-hearted but it's thought-provoking too. If you want to adopt a child and you're on your own, it isn't easy. If you're on your own and you need work doing around the house many men will make assumptions and the most charitable of these is that you're thick as two short planks as far as proper, men's work is concerned - and that's something that gets worse the older you get. There is a hint that all turns out well for Melissa - I hope that it stays that way.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The Stranger in the Mirror: A Memoir of Middle Age by Jane Shilling.

Buy Real Life: One Woman's Guide to Love, Men and Other Everyday Disasters by Melissa Kite at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Real Life: One Woman's Guide to Love, Men and Other Everyday Disasters by Melissa Kite at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Real Life: One Woman's Guide to Love, Men and Other Everyday Disasters by Melissa Kite at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Real Life: One Woman's Guide to Love, Men and Other Everyday Disasters by Melissa Kite at Amazon.com.


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