Book Review: Spinster

This book was terrible.

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own is ostensibly one woman’s thoughts on bucking the social “norm” of marriage and setting out to live a life of one’s own. But the reader quickly learns that this is not really that book. Instead, it’s a chronology of the author’s selfish whims and romantic interludes/pursuits, with assorted reflections on famous deceased single women. This might have been an interesting read had the author had any sort of internal conflict about, well…anything. But there was nothing there. She’s a good writer, which made her lack of self-awareness (in the midst of complete self-obsession) all the more painful. I kept thinking, “This is like reading Elizabeth Wurzel, only it’s neither original nor interesting.” 

By way of full disclosure, I read this after finishing a memoir by a young woman from similarly privileged circumstances who had moved to Africa after high school and adopted 14 orphans. So the contrast was jarring.  One can indeed have a full, meaningful, and profound life without being married. But it’s almost impossible to have that sort of life (married or single) if you refuse to look beyond your own small wants and needs.

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.