The Middle Years by Liz Fraser
Publishing Date: 26th March 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via Pigeonhole, thank you!
Number of pages: 416
Genre: Non – Fiction, Parenting
This is not a book about parenting. There are 1.3 billion of those already, and the main thrust is, ‘if possible, try not to be a shit parent.’
Instead, this is a book about us. You and me.
The knackered parents, flailing about in the supposedly ‘easier’ Middle Years, when our babies have sprouted body hair and attitudes, we’re supposed to be ‘getting our life back’ at last . . . but everything feels as if it’s gone a bit tits down.
From puberty to parents’ evenings, anxiety to A-Levels, divorce to depression, sex to social media, hormones to . . . Jesus, is that chin hair?!
This comprehensive, honest, hilarious and at times heart-breaking rummage through the Rotting Salad Drawer of Midlife™ that we all go through but nobody tells us about until we’re already drowning in it, holds your weary hand and offers a giant, life-saving snog of, ‘IT’S OK. IT’S NOT JUST YOU’.
So, as much as I enjoy the yummy – mummies books full of babies, it’s time for me to move to the middle years, as my daughter has just turned 8, and so this Liz Fraser’s book couldn’t turn in the better moment. I am warned now, though I’ve been already suspecting what’s to come, what with the children growing up mentally much faster than we did – or, at least, it feels like this. I sometimes feel really, really like an idiot compared to my world – wise daughter. Urgh.
I enjoyed this book very much. Actually, I loved the first part about children – it was hilariously funny and light and enlightening. The second part, and as I can already see I’m not alone feeling like this, was not so brilliant. It suddenly felt much too bitter, and like a one long rant about marriage breakdown and divorce. Maybe it didn’t capture me so much as it doesn’t relate to me, however I had a feeling that the writing changed a bit there, turning from hilariously funny into bitterly mean – spirited rant.
I found the author’s observations absolutely spot – on, sharp and with a great dose of distance. The so – called “middle years” prepare us for another chapter in our lives, when children don’t need parents so much, but they do need many more other things. Money. Tablets. Horses. And no, not this trousers. It is perhaps more personal journey of the author but still I found it relatable and true to life. The writing is brutally honest and insightful and pulls you into easily. And it’s real, and I know that I’m not in this alone.