When I was first approached about reading Rebooting in Beverly Hills by Marcy Miller I wasn’t quite sure what I’d find. Was it a dating guide? Was it a novel? Was it self-help? I wasn’t sure, but since I could relate to a degree to the notion of having to start over after a certain age in this area, I thought I’d give it a read and find out.
What I found was that this book is actually all of those things. It’s an incredibly engaging narrative of starting over told with humor and a fair number of warnings that it would be wise for us all to heed. She navigates the joys of losing friends in the divorce (aka “The Single Disease”), changing social standing and the absolute fabulous joys of dating in the modern age. Fix-ups, matchmakers and Internet dates all make an appearance in both hilarious and heart-breaking turns.
While starting over after cheating husband is a well-worn road for authors (and we all know how much I love to write about starting over when you aren’t 20), Marcy Miller delves into areas that are less comfortable, and it’s more touching for it. Rarely do you find someone willing to discuss what it’s like to go from more formal sexual rules to the current “hook-up” culture, but she comes to a quick realization that dealing with her hang-ups and her willingness to adapt to the new rules is a must. She confronts the notion of “re-losing [her] virginity after 50” in direct and funny ways, but it’s the insecurities relating to body image and a mastectomy scar that stayed with me long after I finished reading.
I was impressed with the willingness to jump into this new world. She has angel guides, healers and clinicians on speed dial. Did you know that there are photographers who specialize in taking photos for Internet dating sites? No iPhone, badly light self-portraits for her! And ladies, apparently Los Angeles has a wealth of sexual education classes that hit on some topics not quite covered in the pamphlets distributed in gym class.
The successes and failures are dealt with in an open and honest way. I marvel at her perseverance (no, seriously, some of those dates would have had me in permanent seclusion)—as you will if you pick up Rebooting in Beverly Hills by Marcy Miller.