A story of inspiration and transformation for every woman who’s tried to change her life by changing herself—now a hit TV series from the creator of Sex and the City starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff.
She wants to start a new life.
Alice is trying to return to her career in publishing after raising her only child. But the workplace is less than welcoming to a forty-something mom whose resume is covered with fifteen years of dust.
If Alice were younger, she knows, she’d get hired in a New York minute. So, if age is just a number, why not become younger? Or at least fake it. With help from her artist friend Maggie, Alice transforms herself into a faux millennial and soon finds an assistant’s job, a twenty-something bff, and a hot young boyfriend, Josh, who was in diapers when Alice was in high school.
You’re only as young as you feel.
Alice is too thrilled with her new relationship and career to worry about the fallout from her lie. But when Maggie decides she wants a baby, Alice’s daughter comes home early from studying abroad, and Alice finds herself falling in love with Josh, she realizes her masquerade has serious consequences, especially for her.
Can Alice turn the magic into her real life? Or will the truth come out and break the spell?
Last year was 44-year-old Alice's annus horribilis: her mother died, her dentist husband ran off with his hygienist, and her only daughter packed herself off to Africa with the Peace Corps. The one good loss was all the weight she'd packed on in two decades as a New Jersey housewife. Now newly buff, her hair dyed blond courtesy of her artist friend Maggie, Alice can pass for a 29-year-old. And so she does, embarking on a kind of life swap with her younger self landing a job in the publishing company she left to become a full-time mom and leaping into a torrid affair with a gorgeous, decent 20-something. Talented Satran (Babes in Captivity) crafts Alice's adventures into a funny, touching, instructive guide for the bewildered. Practically everything from fashions in pubic hair to telephone technology has changed since Alice was a single career girl, but a lot remains the same: the office bitch still steals underlings' ideas, and people still desire the contradictory poles of truth and illusion. Satran weaves a sparkly thread of fantasy through her solid social realism, writing precisely what Alice tells her boss readers want: "a book that's going to keep them awake beyond half a page at the end of a long involved day."
Age vs Youth
There is nothing more that I love to do than to read a book before I see it in the movies or on TV. For some reason, it the one rule in my life that I actually never break. Let’s face it. It is sort of the age old debate, but instead of the chicken or the egg, we are asking which is better the book or the movie/show. So with this in mind, I started Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran.
The premise of the book is simple, 44 year-old Alice has had a difficult year and chooses New Year’s Eve to make a wish to be younger. She has never looked her age, but with her recent weight loss, she is looking pretty good. It is not that she wants to be twenty again, but Alice would like to have the opportunities of a young professional starting out with no judgement or sideways glances from the adolescent HR people. If you think that the job market is difficult for 20 and 30 somethings, you can imagine how difficult it is for a 44 year-old stay at home mom who has limited work experience. With the help of her best friend Maggie, she takes a second look at herself and decides to embrace her friend’s push towards a more youthful appearance. Commence the make-over montage now.
As Alice continues her path to becoming younger, she meets Josh, Lindsay, Terri, and a few others here and there. Each adds another layer to her experience, but also to her deception. Will Alice be caught and have to pay a price for the lies that she is weaving? How will everything turn out with her new friend and lover once they find out the truth? Most importantly, will she ever realize that age is just a number and that love can happen to anyone?
This book is a fun quick read with an unexpected reality check for the reader. You will want to yell and throw things at Alice, but in the end, I think that we can all see a little bit of her in all of us. I don’t believe that I would ever want to revisit my twenties, but I can see the appeal in starting fresh with all that knowledge.
When I flipped through the pages, I found that I enjoyed the banter of Alice and Maggie, and the brattiness of her Diana’s reactions to her Mother. However, with every funny quip or awkward situation, there was definitely an underlying tone of reality to it. I found myself constantly thinking about the consequences to the actions that the character decides to make. For every life choice, there is a good and bad. This story shows us that in spades. We all make the decisions that we think is best at the time. Some of us try to plan into the future with our mystical Magic 8 Ball in hand, but really…how can we know?
In many ways, this book is just as sad as it is funny. I can be reading too much into this, as I have been known to do, but it seems as if it was a commentary on woman’s roles in society. More importantly, it shows how we shame one another for our choices.
The jury is still out on if the TV show will be better than the book, but I have to say, that the book is worth a read. Who knows, maybe next year your will start of your New Years with a wish that could set you on a path that you never thought was possible.