No One Tells You This: A Memoir

B sent me the NYT review for this months ago, knowing my penchant for stories about ladies who opt not to follow the operating instructions of marriage/children/misery. Perhaps I should have read the review more closely, Amanda Stern mentioning “the occasional flatness of MacNicol’s prose, and some irksome references to her glitzy life,” which is a much kinder review than I can give.

MacNicol paints herself as a fabulous single woman who makes her living as a writer but when you read this you begin to wonder where the bar is set for writers. The book was painfully bad, a mixture of pretend sass about being single but several moans about wondering if she should have children and mention of a “husband-shaped hole” in her life. Ick, seriously? Perhaps she is so used to overstating that it is her desire in life to be single that it’s out of the question to pry that dead horse away from her beating. If anything it leaves me thinking that someone really needs to write the book about being solo that I want to read, one that doesn’t dip in curtsy to wrestle with the question of babies, one that doesn’t always nod to the perpetually full stable of strong women friends that fills up one’s “husband-shaped hole.”