Highs in the Low Fifties: How I Stumbled Through the Joys of Single Living by Marion Winik

Highs in the Low Fifties

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

As a lauded writer, and NPR commentator author Marion Winik knows what it takes to devise engagingly creative fiction and non-fiction. This book is no exception; it is a likable read in which the author unabashedly shares her adventures in dating as a single mother in her fifties, stricken with Hepatitis C, and looking for love in the modern dating scene. Be warned this is not for the faint hearted, nor does it come to a fairy tale conclusion. This is the memoir of one woman’s lack of success at finding romance under constraining circumstances. This is the raw, unfiltered, and sometimes-humorous retrospections of author Winik based on her real experiences.

Ms. Winik appreciably develops a rapport with readers as she divulges her personal dysfunctions, successes, and failures. She is a charismatic writer that is engaging to read, she is great at recounting her life’s story by employing a razor sharp wit, sarcasm, and the conversational tone. In fact, as the book progresses readers may feel as though a good friend is revealing her most intimate thoughts and experiences.

While some will find this a relatable read, others may find it rather off putting as there are moments within the book where she is so brutally sarcastic and open that it will make you cringe. I found it to be a bit of both. I enjoyed her candor and was able to appreciate her sojourn for a lover, as an older single mother, however at times I was somewhat taken aback especially with her references to some of the men she encountered as she used stereotypes in the name of humor, that seemed to be unnecessary. In addition, another point of contention for me, personally, was her history of health issues; it became disconcerting that with an ongoing health issue like Hepatitis C, she was so readily sexually inclined with some of the men that came into her life.

Contentions aside, I would recommend this book as it would make a nice vacation read. It generally holds your interest and it is quite an entertaining read that at times makes you laugh, and at other times -squirm.

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