Aging with Grace: Review

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 Posted by Dina N

Aging with Grace is a new book by Greg Liberman. It tells the story of Grace, a thirty-something woman who feels restless and unhappy in her life as a wife and mother, living in a sleepy suburb. With the big 4-0 looming, she thinks about all that she never had: her dream of becoming an actress, of glamor and fame, money and luxuries that she believes she is entitled to. When she gets in touch with an old friend, Grace gets a close encounter with the kind of life she longs for, and contemplates leaving husband and family behind.

I had a hard time sympathizing with Grace's character and her dilemmas. She just seems like a spoiled 39-year old brat who keeps whining about her need of plastic surgery and better life. Grace is incapable of valuing what she has. She is self-centered and, as her husband points out, only cares about herself. She has difficulty relating to her teenage daughter, she despises her suburban friends, she is bored with her husband. Reading this book was like looking at a car crash in slow motion - except I just wanted to slap some sense into Grace. Her character acts selfishly and is immature, shallow, and narcissistic. When her husband tells her about his own disillusionment with his career and succumbs to his aspirations to play in a band, she makes merciless fun of his middle-age crisis - all while she is the one much deeper in her middle-age stupidity act.

One can argue that there are many middle-aged people who feel trapped in their life but lack the guts to do anything about it. Maybe it takes some kind of courage to do what Grace does. To me, it is taking the easy way out - away from responsibility and grown-up life, choosing plastic surgery, expensive clothes and a dubious acting job over family and getting older with dignity.

The book reminds me a bit of the show Desperate Housewives - minus the suspense of the story, the fun of the gossip, and the good looks and strong personalities of the characters. I was mostly irritated with the story line, and found the characters superficial and fake - in essence, as well as in depiction. The villain, Grace's love interest and Hollywood producer Victor, is similarly unconvincing.

Altogether, Aging with Grace is somewhat entertaining, but not my type of book. It might make for a fun read if you enjoy this kind of drama. There is a somehow fitting finale, although I do not think all characters get what they deserve. At the end, Grace comes to find out that the grass is not always greener on the other side - something the readers knew all along.

Aging with Grace can be purchased on BookSurge.

Thanks to the author and Bostick Communications for providing a review copy.


  1. kalea_kane said...

    Great review, you were very thorough and completely pointed out what I would want to know. I have to say that she sounds like someone I'd want to poke. :) Thanks for sharing!

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