I Feel Thin Today
Victoria McIrvin
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Buy *I Feel Thin Today: And Other Musings of a Thirty-Something Single Woman* online

I Feel Thin Today: And Other Musings of a Thirty-Something Single Woman
Victoria McIrvin
136 pages
August 2004
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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This is an insightful, witty, and encouraging compilation of essays from a writer with an honest and endearing style. Picking up this book is akin to sitting across the table talking life with a best friend over a large cup of coffee and the most calorie-inflated pastry on the planet. The only difference is, this book will not add inches to your waistline, but its humor and personability could just take the edge off of a stressful day.

Victoria McIrvin certainly seems to have fielded her fair share of relationships during her thirty-something lifetime. Fortunately for her readers, she has come away from each one with a new insight into human character, and sometimes a lesson learned. The essays are refreshing in that they deal with the reality of being a single woman in today's world of faddish expectations and all-too-idealized fantasies of what the "perfect mate" is supposed to look like, act like, sound like, and smell like. It checkmates other books of its kind because it lacks that whiny retaliatory perspective. This is not a tell-all slap-you-down kind of expose. McIrvin is not out to trash talk anyone, it seems, just to share a part of her own life's experiences.

The author shares a bit more of herself and her insights than many people would feel comfortable in doing. Her essays are focused and simple but by no means simplistic. She comes across as a person who is deeply introspective and self-assured and seems to know what she is looking for in life, though not desperately trying to find it in the wrong person. She's not trophy shopping; she is looking for quality. And that, too, is encouraging.

Readers may get the impression that the author changes relationships as quickly as she changes her shoes, but a word of caution against letting the brevity of the essays disillusion. The essays read quickly, and readers will be compelled to keep turning the pages. The book could benefit from some notation, however brief, about how many years are being referenced.

This writer's style is recommended for study by other writers. It is not often that you find an essayist who can pack so much information into such functionally tight literary architecture. I Feel Thin Today is recommended for discussion in a readers' group. Some of the profanity, though recognizably common in popular music and books, and the author's choice to include references to her sexual exploits, though blissfully lacking extreme explicitness, give me reason not to recommend it for reading by the under-21 crowd. It also would not be entirely well received in a Christian women's reading group; its content pays homage to a more secular lifestyle. But, as a thirty-something single woman myself, I can identify with some of the author 's questions, concerns, frustrations, and insights with regard to dating in the modern world. To her I would just say: stay focused, and stay true to yourself.

© 2005 by Susan Cronk for curledup.com.

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