Featured in multiple “must-read” lists, No One Tells You This is “sharp, intimate…A funny, frank, and fearless memoir…and a refreshing view of the possibilities—and pitfalls—personal freedom can offer modern women” (Kirkus Reviews).
If the story doesn’t end with marriage or a child, what then? This question plagued Glynnis MacNicol on the eve of her fortieth birthday. Despite a successful career as a writer, and an exciting life in New York City, Glynnis was constantly reminded she had neither of the things the world expected of a woman her age: a partner or a baby. She knew she was supposed to feel bad about this. After all, single women and those without children are often seen as objects of pity or indulgent spoiled creatures who think only of themselves. Glynnis refused to be cast into either of those roles, and yet the question remained: What now? There was no good blueprint for how to be a woman alone in the world. It was time to create one.
Over the course of her fortieth year, which this “beguiling” (The Washington Post) memoir chronicles, Glynnis embarks on a revealing journey of self-discovery that continually contradicts everything she’d been led to expect. Through the trials of family illness and turmoil, and the thrills of far-flung travel and adventures with men, young and old (and sometimes wearing cowboy hats), she wrestles with her biggest hopes and fears about love, death, sex, friendship, and loneliness. In doing so, she discovers that holding the power to determine her own fate requires a resilience and courage that no one talks about, and is more rewarding than anyone imagines.
“Amid the raft of motherhood memoirs out this summer, it’s refreshing to read a book unapologetically dedicated to the fulfillment of single life” (Vogue). No One Tells You This is an “honest” (Huffington Post) reckoning with modern womanhood and “a perfect balance between edgy and poignant” (People)—an exhilarating journey that will resonate with anyone determined to live by their own rules.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Journalist Glynnis MacNicol documents the tumultuous year following her 40th birthday with fearless wit and emotional insight. While she was perfectly comfortable with her choices to be single and childless, MacNicol writes about facing a sort of societal Judgment Day, in which her career success—and her generally loving, caring disposition—wouldn't be considered good enough. Rather than embarking on an Eat, Pray, Love–style spiritual journey, MacNicol faces her everyday life with an invigorating determination to control her own destiny.
Macnicol, co-founder of TheLi.st, a networking platform for working women, incisively examines what she wants in her personal life versus what society tells her she's supposed to want: namely, a partner and kids. In her late 30s, Macnicol was a successful freelance writer for several magazines, but got so burned out by the 18-hour days that she eventually quit. It took two years for her to find her footing again, and she eventually returned to writing and founded her website. She reflects on the path of her stay-at-home mother as well as her own independent, jet-setting life ("I had known early on that I did not want my mother's life. If anything, I actively unwanted it"). She also looks to her friends who have paired off (some are happy; others confess they should have been less afraid to be single) as well as her sister, who discovered she was pregnant just as she had separated from her husband. Society, Macnicol writes, views single, childless women with pity, yet Macnicol takes pleasure in being a woman in charge of her own life. The self-affirming wisdom Macnicol gained about herself will resonate with countless women and men who wrestle with the same societal pressures.