Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties by Camille Pagan

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties by Camille Pagan
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s fiction
Length: Full length (274 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

From bestselling author Camille Pagán comes a hilarious and hopeful story about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough.

At fifty-three, Maggie Harris has a good marriage and two mostly happy children. Perpetually anxious, she’s also accumulated a list of semi-reasonable fears: falling air conditioners, the IRS, identity theft, skydiving, and airbag recalls. But never once did Maggie worry that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her.

On the day Adam walks out the door, everything that makes Maggie secure goes with him. Only then does she realize that while she’s been busy caring for everyone else, she’s become invisible to the world—and to herself.
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Maggie cautiously begins to rebuild her life with a trip to Rome, a new career, and even a rebound romance. But when a fresh crisis strikes and an uncertain future looms, she must decide: How much will she risk to remain the woman she’s just become?

Someone once said “the only predictable thing about life is it’s unpredictability”. That’s certainly the truth that hits Maggie Harris square in the face when her husband of thirty-two years leaves her with very little warning.

I wanted to like this book. I didn’t actually hate it, it was okay, I just wasn’t blown away. I kept expecting, wanting really, to see Maggie display some real backbone but other than quitting her job and taking the lone trip to Rome, life happened to her rather than her taking more control.

It’s possible that this story didn’t connect with me because I haven’t lived Maggie’s experience. Not having been through a divorce may color what I wanted or expected to see in Maggie’s reaction. The story gives some interesting insight into Maggie and Adam prior to marriage, life with her single mother as well as raising her children while Adam builds his business.

There’s an interesting underlying thread to the story about how someone can live, work, shop, raise a family and realize one day that they’re practically invisible and maybe this is the real take away from this story.

There was a point where it seemed Maggie started noticing all of the ways that she had allowed herself to become invisible. In the way she dressed, in the way she let others take advantage of her. She shows a little spirit and that gave me hope for the rest of the book.

Women who may be going through the early stages of separation later in life will connect with this book. It’s realistic to a fault. Maggie is on a journey, a long finding herself type journey. The book ends with a little twist and a decidedly positive note for her future and that helped round out the story for this reader.

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