Review: Suddenly Single at Sixty by Jo Peck

Suddenly Single at Sixty by Jo Peck

Bjørn reviews Suddenly Single at Sixty, a memoir by Jo Peck.

An eARC was received by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book
Series:standalone
Genre:Memoir
Publisher:Text Publishing
Date of Publishing:April 30, 2024
Trigger Warnings:a woman above 30 has sex and talks about it
Page count:272
Book Blurb
Suddenly Single at Sixty by Jo Peck

An uplifting, witty and hilarious memoir about the road from the shock and despair of a sudden marriage break-up to a fabulous new life.

Dumped by her husband of twenty-five years, Jo Peck-smart, successful and sixty-is totally floored. There’s the complete bombshell of the news, the cliche of a younger woman-a much younger woman-there’s the disappointment of cancelled retirement travel plans, and there’s the foundation-rocking loss of her sense of identity-if she’s no longer Rex’s wife, who the hell is she? She’s lost and angry and hurt and confused. But not for long! There’s the comfort and support of excellent friends and newly forged connections with extended family, there’s therapy. And there’s internet dating.

This inspiring, witty and at times hilarious memoir tells the story of the road from shock and despair to an unexpected new life, of friendship, romance and racy sex-proof that being suddenly single at sixty is not the end, it’s an opportunity for a fabulous new beginning.

Quote of the Book
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“I m sixty-three years old and this morning I had the best sex of my life.”

Song of the Book

Review

Suddenly Single at Sixty is a memoir of a, well, sixty-year-old woman whose husband, out of the blue, decided to swap her for a 26 years younger model. (Men. Enough said.) As the book progresses, Jo realises that their marriage hasn’t actually been all that great… and maybe Rex did her a favour.

She throws herself into the online dating world with joy and fervour I don’t think I could possibly exhibit (or feel) at 46, i.e. now. This is actually why I picked the book (I received a free copy from NG, which did not influence this review) – I thought, whoa, becoming suddenly single at sixty is going to be ROUGH. After literal decades together, how do you shed the shared habits, tastes, conversations, non-conversations, friendships, favourite places…? I’ve ‘only’ been with my husband for 12 years (and he is NOT going anywhere, neither am I, but then, Jo thought the same thing) and I couldn’t imagine living without him. Jo couldn’t either. Until she tried. And kept trying. And gave no f*cks. (I think the number of actual f*cks, as in f-bombs, in the book is one and it might be my overactive imagination rounding it up from zero.) Sometimes Jo is briefly depressed, sometimes just unused to her new life, always in a brave search for, well… a REAL new life.

I tend to hate memoirs reviewed as ‘raw, unflinching, gut-wrenching’ etc. Suddenly Single at Sixty is none of those things. It’s open, honest, only mildly filtered… I mean, see the quoted sentence… and it’s a wonderful book to read. No, Jo isn’t perfect (thank Gods!), she gets anxious the same way Bridget Jones and me did in her twenties, her body is not in its twenties and you’re going to find out what that means, but damn, this woman has some ovaries! I smiled. A lot. I felt for her. A lot. This memoir is a rare specimen that manages to be both interesting and well written.

In terms of criticisms… I don’t really have any. Suddenly Single at Sixty is just a very good book with re-read potential. (Hopefully not due to me finding myself suddenly single at sixty…) If you love memoirs, can deal with the idea of a sixty-three years old woman having The S-E-X (apparently the publisher had a problem with the massage scene… you’ll get there…) like some teenager with skincare straight from TikTok, and want to see a new life unveil at the time when it’s supposed to start settling into “and they lived indifferently forever after” – and you like unexpected drops of dry humour showing up at the most unexpected places – which I happen to like, all of what I just listed… I couldn’t recommend this book more.

Is Suddenly Single at Sixty a life-changing masterpiece? No. Er. I mean…not yet. Hopefully not. It’s uplifting and made me second-hand happy (just in case it turns out to be a life-changing masterpiece…) The book wasn’t actually finished until the author was sixty-six, putting finishing touches to it, and when I say touches, I mean… oh, enough spoilers. Just read it!

Our Judgement
They Shall Be Remembered - 4.5 Crowns

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