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How to Be Single


How to Be Single

are you still single?" Thirty-eight-year-old Julie Jensen is
really tired of that question. The problem for Julie is
that no one --- not meddling aunts, not well-meaning strangers ---
wants to know the answer more than Julie herself. Attractive, fit,
kindhearted, with a good job and a fabulous New York City life,
Julie would seem to be any man's prize. But yet, she's still
single. So are her friends Alice, Ruby and Serena. Even her
formerly married friend Georgia is single again. Is there something
wrong with these women? Or are they just dealing with a phenomenon
that plagues millions of women around the country? Where are all
the decent men?

Julie's friend Alice is so desperate to find one that she's quit
her successful job in order to devote herself full-time to pursuing
love. But, when disappointment follows disappointment in this
guerilla dating mentality, Alice resolves merely to settle for the
next guy who comes along --- regardless of whether she's head over
heels in love. Will compromising her ideal of romantic love and
undying passion result in long-term happiness for Alice?

Ruby is mourning the death of her beloved cat, so much so that
she's having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. But her
grief over a lost pet is nothing compared to how she deals with bad
break-ups --- which have been so devastating that she is reluctant
even to try dating again. Can she find love when she's having a
hard time even being happy with herself?

Serena has outright renounced her desire for love, even going so
far as to take a vow of chastity and become a yoga swami. After a
series of betrayals and losses, though, will Serena close herself
off to love forever? Or will she finally realize what she's been
missing all along?

Georgia thought she was happily married with two children --- until
her husband left her for a nubile young samba instructor. Now she's
determined to get back into the swing of dating and not let Julie's
dating horror stories ruin her optimistic approach toward finding
love again. But after a series of dating mishaps results in
near-disaster for Georgia's family life, will she give up on ever
re-achieving happiness?

As for Julie, a completely disastrous girls' night out provides the
much-needed impetus for her to quit her job, buy a round-the-world
plane ticket, and pitch the idea of a self-help book about how
women the world over deal with being single. While she's busy
jetting from France and Italy to Brazil, Bali, Australia and India,
searching for answers, her friends (none of whom knew each other
previously) are forging their own bonds, making their own mistakes
and finding out for themselves how to be single.

Liz Tuccillo, who was one of the co-authors of the phenomenally
successful book HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, clearly
understands the self-help market. Despite several snarky asides
about the monotony of self-help tomes marketed to single women,
Tuccillo often relies on their language to make her points: "We
have our jobs and our friends and our passions and our churches and
our gyms and yet we still can't escape our essential nature of
needing to be loved and feel close to another human being. How do
we keep going when that's not what life has given to us?"
Particularly when Julie analyzes the cultural and romantic mores of
other nations, some readers may feel that they're reading another
how-to book rather than a cohesive novel. Many more, however, will
respond both to Julie's own revelations as well as the combination
of self-awareness and gal-pal bonding that characterizes her
friends' stories.

Tuccillo also clearly owes a debt to “Sex and the
City.” With her analytical eye for male-female relations and
her gift for bringing together disparate personalities into a
unified "girl posse," Julie Jensen is a veritable Carrie Bradshaw.
Filled with the glamorous details of living and loving in Manhattan
but tempered with thoughtful reflection and a realistic but hopeful
outlook, HOW TO BE SINGLE will appeal both to fans of Carrie &
Co. and to readers looking for their own answers to that

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on January 22, 2011

How to Be Single
by Liz Tuccillo

  • Publication Date: June 10, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria
  • ISBN-10: 1416534121
  • ISBN-13: 9781416534129