Available – A Book Review

by Molly Moore
Available by Laura Friedman Williams book cover on a kindle with pile is discarded undeerwear

“Divorce is an ending and a terribly painful one at that, but it is also a beginning. My advice to anyone looking at that door and trying to decide whether it’s opening or closing is don’t over think it. Shave yours legs, spritz on some perfume, don that lace thing you bought in an optimistic moment, slip into a pair of heels that make you feel sexy and bold, and let the momentum carry you ahead” ~ Available by Laura Friedman Williams

I love this book!

Despite the fact that I have taken to reading a lot more books again this past year or so I rarely write about them in this space but this book definitely warrants sharing here. (If you do want to see what else I have read this year though, check out this thread on Twitter)

Available by Laura Friedman Williams (affiliate link) is a memoir written by Laura in the wake of finding out her husband of 27 years has been having an affair and is leaving her. Despite being absolutely floored by the discovery and completely heartbroken she decides to basically do what the quote above says and ventures out to find out, well, she doesn’t know at the time but turns out that what she finds is her sexual self.

So many women are faced with suddenly finding themselves starting over in their 40’s and 50’s but no one ever really writes about that and when they do it is nearly always about finding love again. They meet a new man who rescues them from their singeldom and they now live happily ever after. A classic romance story if you will. Whereas this book, is also a romance but one where Laura finds herself, he own sexual agency and prowess and eventually a realization that monogamy and goal orientated love is not what she is looking for. Along that way it details her dating triumphs and mishaps and shines a light of female sexual desire and reconciling the roles of being a sexual woman and a Mother.

The writing is open and honest and often times very raw and VERY relatable. I too have done the, sleeping with a guy so you can get out of there, scenario. It is not something men ever experience, that fear which makes sleeping with them seem like the better option than trying to leave, but it is a common story for many women. There are also some laugh out loud moments too, probably most notably the dogs! (I won’t spoil it, you will have to read it)

If you are in your 40’s or 50′ and starting over, heading out dating and/or exploring open relationships then this is totally for you and if you are a younger woman, then read it too and be mindful. You never think you are going to be Laura or me but chances are some of you will be. Find you voice now. Be yourself now. Don’t wait but if you have then don’t fear what comes next, buy some good lingerie, sign up on a dating app and go and see what is available to you too.

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2 comments

Fajolan August 10, 2021 - 7:51 pm

Counter review.
Yes, books about this stage of life which tell an honest story and not a romantic fake might be rare. THis one however has rubbed me the wrong way.
I have a preference for an honest voice over an uplifting story. Thinking of girlonthenets separation stories including “having to park your sex toys and sex machine with friends” or about realizing that while fucking around one might actually hurt one of the guys.

Why does “Available” rub me the wrong way?
It’s very American in all aspects and this is not reflected in the book. Plus, I find it is loaded with white rich Upstate New York privilege. PTA mum, dating culture, trained and tanned bodies, a culture of “every experience is a challenge at the end there is success” and everyone is sent to therapy every other month to overcome their “problems”. Problems and crisis exist so you can get rid of them by uplifting yourself or going to therapy.
Yes, there is an honest voice behind that, but it’s one that is very much focussed on “me myself and I”. Others in the book serve as backdrop to the author herself. I miss empathy. I miss self-reflection and laughing at yourself.

Saying so as someone who has lived a similar experience of “going out and enjoying that I am a sexual being” without buying into relationship ladders and being deeply sex positive.

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Molly Moore August 18, 2021 - 4:31 pm

Hi there… thanks for your comment.

You are right about the perspective of this book in that the voice is definitely one of a white privileged women. I found that the end of the book she definitely reflected on the whole thing and how she felt about monogamy etc and there were definitely parts of it I identified with such as sleeping with someone so you could leave. Overall I enjoyed it very much and was happy that it didn’t follow the usual trope of, husband leaves me, I go out and find a replacement romance.

Molly

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