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37 by Maria Beaumont
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425273,462 (3.44)3



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Fran feels bad enough about her life, but others are making her feel even worse!
It takes crises in the lives of her friends to realise how strong she is and what she can do.
At times an emotional read, which was unexpected from where it starts. ( )
  pamjw | Oct 30, 2011 |
I got to about page 60 and decided that it and me weren't working. I just didn't care about her or her life.
  wyvernfriend | Aug 7, 2010 |
As someone whose 37th birthday is quickly approaching, I could not turn down the opportunity to read this novel by Maria Beaumont. It chronicles the approaching midlife of Fran Clark, a talented former voice over actress living in London. Fran left acting 10 years earlier when she started her family with her husband Richard. As her 37th birthday party nears, her life and drinking habit get more and more out of control. When everything is finally turned upside down on the night of her party, Fran has to choose between finding a way to recreate herself or give in to the alcoholism that runs in her family and potentially ruin her children’s childhood. What seems obvious to everyone surrounding her proves to be very difficult for Fran.

37 was written in a comfortable, conversational tone. As someone who has never been to England, I very much enjoyed the dialog. It was delightfully different from what I am used to. Part way through the book the voice in my head while I was reading it even took on a British accent ala Madonna. I love how so often sentences were ended in rhetorical questions. No one uses the word brilliant quite like the British.

Conversation aside, life in upper-middle class London isn’t all that much different than it is here in the United States. Fran has two wonderful best friends, but they are but a life raft in shark invested waters. Fran’s relationship with her husband suffers from what sadly happens far too often after children are born. The mothers running her school’s equivalent to the PTA act and react just like catty women everywhere. Beaumont nailed the competitive nature between women that has no real reason to exist. Women are our own worst enemies.

37 was somewhat heavier than I had anticipated, but it read quickly. I related to Fran and empathized with her experiences. The ending was satisfying and inspiring. I hope that Maria Beaumont continues to write. Her voice is what made this story special.

http://literatehousewife.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/89-37/ ( )
  LiterateHousewife | Jul 26, 2008 |
It started off with great promise. I loved her slight off-beat English sarcastic humor.
However, this chick/mommy lit book greatly disappointed.
OK, we know you "don't" have a drinking problem as you tell us for 20 pages, and it takes 100 pages to confront your husband about the hotel bill in your pocket, but enough with the wallowing!
Had promise, did not deliver ( )
  coolmama | Mar 6, 2008 |
Spoiled, rich suburban mom doesn't appreciate her handsome husband and backs off from restarting her glam career. Fantasy stuff with typical romantic ending but funny and snappy writing will keep you amused when you are tired and stressed. ( )
  triscuit | Sep 4, 2007 |
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Feeling stifled in her role as the wife of an advertising executive and mother of two, former voice-over artist Fran Clark finds herself descending into depression and alcoholism on the eve of her thirty-seventh birthday and turns for help to two close friends.… (more)

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