Thursday, June 20, 2013
REVIEW: Confessions Of An Ex-Girlfriend by Lynda Curnyn
Author: Lynda Curnyn
Publisher: Red Dress Ink
Publication Date: August, 2002
Description: Ex-Girlfriend Emma Carter has a lot on her mind. Her boyfriend got a life --- in L.A. Her hairdresser found God. And that extra ten pounds of "relationship flab" she acquired while falling in love with a commitment-phobe has just put her out of the running for new romance --- or so she thinks. But before Emma can get on with her life, she's got to face a few startling truths about being single in New York City...
Confession #5: Marriage suddenly seems like a social disease. Even the latest bride in my family --- my mother --- has put me to work in the service of her wedding day. What about us non-brides-to-be? Working in the warped little world of wedding planning has only led me to one conclusion: If you don't get married in this world, you get nothing. Once, in an editorial meeting, I jokingly suggested that a woman should get a bridal shower when she turns thirty, wedding or not. Everyone looked at me as if I were some kind of nut. I am 31 years old; am I not entitled to free Calphalon yet?
Who ever thought that baring your soul could be this good?
My Thoughts: Confessions Of An Ex-Girlfriend is one woman’s journey to find meaning in the end of her two year relationship when the man she loves accepts a job in L.A. and leaves New York and her behind. Emma struggles through most of this book living a very dysfunctional life. She is stuck in a boring job at a bridal magazine writing articles that are intended to sell the institute of marriage and all its glitz and glitter to brides to be. Emma’s mother is preparing to get married for the third time and wants Emma’s help and expertise with the planning. Emma has not told her parents about her change in relationship status. Emma’s father is lawsuit happy and may or may not have fallen off the wagon (again). She desperately needs highlights, but her hairdresser can only make time for his spiritual lessons and his guru. Her unwanted single status forces Emma to take a long, hard look in the mirror and acknowledge some facts (no matter how painful) about being single once again.
Even though Emma knew from their first date that her boyfriend would move to L.A. as soon as he sold a screenplay, that event did not happen for two years, in which time Emma got completely comfortable in the relationship and put it out of her mind. Why do we ignore these glaringly obvious relationship red flags? How do Emma and the rest of us develop relationship amnesia and completely forget these events and then walk around like the walking wounded wondering what happened? One thing that annoyed me about Emma is that she spends several pages pining for this jerk instead of getting angry. I felt she should have gotten angry a lot sooner. Two years spent in a relationship, regardless of the red flags at the beginning, is a long time. The last thing I want to see is Emma feeling sorry for herself, while sitting by the phone on the chance that he might call. When Emma finally does get angry and lets him know it, I was cheering. Let him have it, Emma. Rip him a new one.
I really liked Emma’s best friends, Alyssa and Jade. Where Alyssa is sweet and kind and in a committed relationship, Jade is the complete polar opposite. Jade is anti-relationship where Alyssa is living with her boyfriend. Emma fits perfectly in the middle between them. I was amazed how these three different women could be such good friends, but they are and it works. In the early days of Emma’s singleness, Alyssa and Jade both play a vital role in helping Emma reinvent herself.
I also liked that Emma wasn’t afraid to throw herself back in the dating pool, no matter how scary it was or unprepared she was. I loved that Emma does not strike gold right away either. I really enjoy a story that is realistic and having Emma start dating after a long term relationship and find Mr. Perfect on her first attempt would not have been believable for me as a reader.
My Final Verdict: Whether we’re ex-girlfriends or supportive shoulders to friends going through it, this is a good story that will appeal regardless of the situation. Fans of chick-lit and romance will appreciate how Emma comes out of her ordeal willing to take chances without losing her romantic side or becoming bitter.
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