There are not a whole lot of books out there that share a positive view of single living women. So about a month ago when my phone buzzed to tell me I had a Twitter message from @spinsterlicious, Eleanore Wells, asking if I’d be interested in reviewing her new book, The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Child-free, I of course said “Yes” without hesitation. Aside from already harboring a desire to read and review the book, I was also flattered to have someone who I admire ask me for my opinion. The book arrived in the mail about five days later and I dove on in. I should note that other than a copy of the book I have received no compensation for this review.
I loved this book. Once I began reading it I couldn't stop. I carried it with me everywhere I went over the 48 hours following my receipt of it. I read it while waiting for the bus. I read it in between classes on campus. I read it when I should have been studying or doing homework. I read it in the kitchen while stirring a pot of simmering fish head soup. Over the past week I read it again in order to better prepared to write this long delayed review and I found I loved it just as much the second time through.
The Spinsterlicious Life is more than just an enjoyable and often humorous read however, it is an instruction manual for how to live happy and solo in a world that has done a pretty good job of convincing us that being coupled off is the only road to contentment. Written as 20 lessons, one chapter equaling one lesson, with titles that include the expected “Marriage. Kids. They’re not for everybody;” the humorous, “Be patient with women who’ve lost the ability to talk about anything but their kids;” and a few warnings, “Use birth control;” the book tells Ms. Wells’ personal journey from perceived old maid to spinsterlicious.
The book opens with an introduction that gives a bit of Ms. Wells’ background and an explanation of how she came to choose the word spinster to describe herself. The 20 lessons that follow contain a blend of her personal experience and the shared anecdotes of her fellow spinsters covering all areas of single life in an honest and often humorous fashion covering not only the joys and freedoms that come with living single (Lesson 2: Indulge yourself! Romance. Sex. Adventure.) but also the potential downsides that one may encounter (Lesson 4: If you don’t get married who is going to fix that?). Each lesson is self-contained and one can read the book straight through or pick and choose those chapters that immediately appeal.
Eleanore Wells writes with the voice of informed experience; that of someone who has the authority to give frank advice on her chosen subject because she has lived it. She has learned from her successes as well as her missteps, and she has come to know that she has something to authentically share. She does not shy away from telling the sometimes very personal story of how her life lessons were learned and those of us who are following in her spinsterlicious footsteps can only benefit from her experience.
Whether you are dancing happily down the road of self-declared spinsterhood, find yourself newly single and unsure how to manage it or you just want to find away to understand your maiden aunt who seems to be quite content to live the solo life, this book is well worth the read.