Normally the adjectives cute and funny would not describe: spinster, a pair of cellulite thighs, bad sense of style, and lack of motivation, but Becky Monson weaves them into a recipe for laughter in her book, Thirty-Two Going on Spinster that is both cute and funny. Ms. Spinster, Julia Dorning, writes in first person, diary style, as though she just woke up, and realized that clock had ticked a few too many times, and she had overslept her destiny. “He (Julia’s doctor) actually told me that I should seriously consider finding someone and settling down and that my eggs ‘weren’t getting any younger.'”
Many heroes and heroines are beautiful, young, athletic, and good at everything. Like George Costanza, there is little about this heroine that is heroesque. She sleeps on the job, is out of shape, lives in her parent’s basement, seems to have few skills, and lives a routinely dull life with no hopes that the future would change the course of her life. When her boss and a new employee on tour find her scrambling to explain why she would be crawling out from under a table in the spare room of the office building where she works, the drama begins. But oh so slowly, because this woman is no heroine.
Does the reader time out leaving the book unturned past the 10th page on the nightstand for six months? Absolutely, it does not! The clock ticks southern speech style for this woman, leaving the reader doubled over in laughter where she should be yawning. Of course, the reviewer of this novel, can’t tell you whether she lost her job, if she quit sleeping under the table in the spare room, or even she came up with a good excuse about why she was there. The reader learns quickly that this woman bakes great cookies, cakes, and other delectable desserts, which accounts for her slightly under-exercized figure.
Does she quickly snag the new guy from the gorgeous young receptionist’s greedy grasp? Does Julia even care about the new, male model-type, Jarod Moody, mid thirties, ring-free, male that discovers her hiding place on his tour of the company with the boss? Does her gorgeous younger sister secretly envy her life, and want to move back home into the basement of their parent’s home as well? Will she get the new, more desirable job in HR, saving her from the job that bores her to death? In her own words, “I have a feeling it’s going to be harder before it gets easier.” Her premonition is correct, or the book would meander into the nothing but boring category. And boring, this book is not.
Everything about this romantic novel, even the first words, a definition of spinster, is highly unexpected and unsettling. The reader is like the poor kid that is just waiting in line to order lunch when his friend, playing the clown, comes up behind the him and flexes his knees into the back of the daydreamer’s locked unsuspecting legs. The action doesn’t topple the victim, but throws them slightly off balance. So does this book.