Amy Cohen’s dating memoir languished on my TBR shelf for probably two years before I forced myself to pick it up a couple of weeks ago. I bought the book on a whim because the cover appealed to me. I love the bicycle with the flower wheels despite wondering what a bicycle could possibly have to do with dating in NYC. Turns out – a lot! Anyway, The Late Bloomer’s Revolution managed to surprise me in the best way possible.
From her early twenties to her early forties, Amy Cohen spent a lot of time dating and breaking up. Working from her own experiences, she was a television writer for such shows as Spin City and Caroline in the City before becoming a full-fledged dating columnist similar to Candace Bushnell of Carrie Bradshaw fame. However, I think Cohen’s dating woes are far more down to earth and something the common female can relate to. Her life is far from glamorous and she really shines when interacting with her mother and father.
In the beginning, I wasn’t sold. Her younger misadventures seemed old-hat in the world of woe-is-me ‘I can’t find a husband’ literature. Nothing seemed fresh except those small moments between herself and her parents that were both charming and poignant. Those moments – her mother getting cancer, the growing relationship and understanding between herself and her father – kept me reading. Because what you learn is, Amy Cohen didn’t have things easy. No matter how glamorous a life you think someone who works in television or lives in NYC might have, she proves that the average Manhattan-ite is struggling, learning, and growing from the same trials and tribulations we all deal with on a daily basis. You’re even left feeling weirdly happy that we’ve never had to live through a house imprisoning facial rash!
So, for me, most of the dating sections of the novel were hit and miss. Humorous, but never quite more than that. It wasn’t until the the final chapter that I found pleasure in The Late Bloomer’s Revolution as a dating memoir. And that final chapter satisfied me in a way that no memoir of recent memory has. Instead of meeting the love of her life at 40, settling down, and having children, Cohen meets the love of her life and gets engaged only to eventually break things off with him. Something as banal as – he wants California and she wants New York. And for the first time, in the midst of perhaps her most tragic breakup, Cohen finds a true happiness. The book ends with her single, childless, in her forties, and with the most positive outlook on life she’s ever had. That was inspiring.