Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Late Bloomer’s Revolution: A Memoir by Amy Cohen (a review)

The Late Bloomer's Revolution by Amy CohenIn the space of a year in her early thirties, Amy Cohen loses her mother, her boyfriend, her television writing job and even her looks (she develops a rash on her face), and is confronted with what she calls “the biggest reinvention of all.” The Late Bloomer’s Revolution, which chronicles this reinvention, is a brave, frank, sweet and laugh-out-loud funny memoir in the form of a series of personal essays. The first chapter managed to make me both laugh and feel weepy, which was definitely a good start to a book!

I also consider myself a late bloomer—mostly because I still haven’t quite figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I must admit I expected Amy to spend more time on figuring out what she wanted to do next; instead, much of the book is focused on her search for a man with whom to settle down and have children. Since I already have a man, I didn’t identify as much with her dating stories. Although they often made for funny reading, I wished she hadn’t glossed over her process of finding a new job. My favourite chapters therefore tended to be the ones in which she focused on something other than dating—the best being the chapter on learning to ride a bike at age 35. This is Amy at her bravest—it’s inspiring and a bit crazy and heart-wrenching all at once. (For more of Amy’s thoughts on learning to ride a bike and being a late bloomer, read her guest post at Prill Boyle’s Defying Gravity, a blog dedicated to late bloomers.)

At some point later in the book, Amy says:
“You’re so brave” can be interpreted in two ways. The first kind is what you might say to a fireman. This is the version that says, “I admire you. I’d love to be more like you.” The other is what you might say to someone who was just in a terrible car accident but is making a full recovery. This is the one that says, “You make me feel better about myself, because I’m not you.” (p. 252)
Well, I think Amy qualifies for the first kind of brave—I admire her and would love to be more like her. I think I need to buy myself a bike.

To read what others thought of this book, head over to these blogs:
Citizen Readernot enough booksTrashionista

To read interviews with Amy, head to these blogs:
Books and BeliefsGatherMommy Writer Blog

Thank you to Amy Cohen and Hyperion Books for sending me this book to review.


  1. Thanks for the link and the comment! It is a book that generates talk.

  2. Looks like a great book - thanks for the review.

  3. I would be bothered by the emphasis on dating too. It sounds like she is trying to find herself but how can one do that when the emphasis is not place on her but on finding a soul mate?

    As the other commenter said... it would be a good book for discussion.

  4. You're welcome, Sheyna. I enjoyed reading your interview of Amy.

    Thanks, Kathy!

    Ti, she does write about things other than dating, but yeah, it's a big part of the story. I still recommend the book, though!

  5. Great review. I've not heard of this book before but it sounds quite good. Anothe one for the list.

  6. I know, Dar, that ever-expanding list. When will we have time to read all the good books we keep finding on each others' blogs?

  7. Yes - get a bike! I got one last year and I am really enjoying my bike rides through nature.

  8. Thanks, Lenore, for the encouragement! The worst part is (or maybe it's the best part) that there's a fantastic bike path right near my place, so it's a shame not to take advantage of it, right? But I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to riding my bike in the city. Or at least that been the excuse so far...

  9. This sounds like a sweet book :D

  10. Exactly Avis-I read the blogs, the books sound so good and I'm doomed. All of us crazy book lovers need to have book reading clones of ourselves. lol.

  11. Great review and I love the quote that you picked. It's so true.

  12. That is so cool that she learned to ride a bike at age 35!

    I love memoirs; this one sounds good.

  13. Alea, yeah, sweet is a good word for this book!

    Dar, I love that idea! While I slept, my clone could be reading...

    Thanks, Nicole. That quote really resonated with me.

    Shana, that chapter alone makes the whole book worth reading!