Sunday, December 17, 2017

Book Review: The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal

Starting a new life as a couple with two strange teenagers at home - one for each new member of the family - could be hilarious, demanding, awkward, almost impossible. Julia and James assume they love each other enough to overcome the tremendous challenges. But it seems they underestimated both Gwen and Nathan. Would their relationship prevail against all odds? Does love win, after all? Depends what kind of love you have in mind.
The Awkward Age seems at first a book that never ends and after a while you just feel yourself that it will not because teenage years are like this - for both the teen and its adult entourage. In fact though, things are moving on and on, pushing limits and destroying other people lives, selfishly. Actually, everyone in this story seems a bit too self absorbed and their own world is self-sufficient. If not some references about streets and places in London and UK, you might place the middle class story anywhere on the planet. All the characters, regardless their age, they are living in their own universe where there are no politics, social worries or financial constraints. A bit unrealistic for me, regardless how far on the Heath you are living. 
For a couple of good pages, I remarked that in the story the focus is mostly on the women while the men are somehow in the shadow, although they give the tone of the women' lives. Somehow, this was on purpose, as it shows in fact a certain dynamic, where women may always feel guilty for their choices, especially if they are mothers of daughters, while men are aimed to have a professional career and a freedom of their own that regardless of their status, most women do not have such a priviledge and it seems there is always something they can refuse themselves when it comes to the choice between their personal life and their roles as women.
Despite the slow pace and some 'inside the bubble' inadequacies, The Awkward Age is a book that makes you think over and over again about the hardships of assigned family roles. And teenagers are, anyway, a different kind of beasts. 

Rating: 3.5 stars
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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