The Monday Book: NO I DON’T WANT TO JOIN A BOOK CLUB by Virginia Ironside

I found this at one of the Philly bookstores I visited and loved the title. The novel is about a woman turning sixty with some enthusiasm, dealing with all the things that turning sixty entails.

She is a sassy curmudgeon, the protagonist, with a lot of common sense and a few blind spots. I always say character drives plot, so this book has a great plot. It is written in diary form, which is not my favorite kind of book but does let the writer get in all sorts of silliness for extra laughs.

It’s a gentle read, kind of  haha-ouch stuff if you’re someone headed toward those years, probably a haha, I remember that if it’s behind you. There’s something affirming about finding you’re not alone in the things that happen to us all, yes?

This isn’t a book for everyone; it’s a gentle, light-hearted story, kind of “aga saga for the senior set” or for those who just love character-driven books. Because Marie (the diary writer) really is a character. If this book were food, it would be pudding in a cloud, vitamin-fortified, because there are just enough “stop and think” moments in the fun romp to add savory to the sweetness.

5 thoughts on “The Monday Book: NO I DON’T WANT TO JOIN A BOOK CLUB by Virginia Ironside

  1. I read this book years ago and loved it – even though I wasn’t yet in a “vitamin-fortified cloud”. Truth to tell: if I am now in that cloud, I’m immensely grateful – the confusing choices of youth are waaaay back there and I’m enjoying the fruits of my choices (wellllll, most of them)! I love your web site, your posts, your delightful Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap. We visited you last year – from Harrisonburg – and one of my fervent wishes (here in my cloud) is to drop back down and visit again, with much more time to fill up on your books as well as the luscious foods in your cafe’.

  2. Read this years ago, as well. I remember it as having a “When I am old, I shall wear purple” feel to it, and as being all character sketch and little plot, but I did enjoy spending time with Marie.

  3. I’ve just read “My Life with Janey” by the same author, which isn’t a fun read, but most illuminating. Janey Ironside was hugely influential in the sixties as a professor, the head of the
    Fashion Design School of the Royal College of Art in London and not very maternal. Virginia went into journalism and was an agony aunt on various publications . She now writes a column in the “Oldie magazine.

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