In Surfing in Stilettos by Carol E. Wyer, Amanda Wilson is “Facing50” in both her real life and as a name in her blog. Deciding to take a year off and travel through Europe with her retired husband, Amanda blogs about her experiences.
Having to deal with a grumpy husband, who retired too soon, and a temperamental camper van named “Bertie,” Amanda has a lot to write about.
When Bertie breaks down in a hamlet in France, Amanda and Phil have to stay put while they wait for the parts to come in. Meeting a nice couple, they luck into being able to stay in quaint lodgings on their property.
When the couple has to leave the country for a family emergency, Amanda agrees to dog sit their adorable Old Ted. Amanda enjoys this idyllic life, especially because it gives her time to write.
Phil is incredibly bored and appears to be experiencing male menopause. Hoping that their relationship will survive, things get better when Phil has to go back to England to handle an emergency created by their son.
Encouraged to stay on so that she can take care of Old Ted and continue to write, Amanda makes a friend. Bibi is a beautiful wife of a wealthy man. While she presents herself as having the perfect life, things are not quite what they seem. Her efforts to drastically change her situation end up involving Amanda.
Meanwhile, Bibi enjoys Amanda’s free spirit and gift of laughter. An ex-love of Amanda’s also plays into the picture, and by sheer luck he also affects other people around her. Amanda’s life is very entertaining as she figures out what is most important to her.
As her blogs play on, Amanda’s readers offer entertaining input. So does her mother through her newfound ability to Skype. Amanda’s mom’s outrageous behavior makes for some very fun reading. Her friends also add humor to the adventure.
At the heart of this story, in spite of the humor, a great deal of wisdom is imparted. I really appreciated the depth of the story. The characters are well developed and continue to grow through their interactions with each other.
I found Surfing in Stilettos by Carol E. Wyer to be an entertaining read, and believe that it will be especially enjoyed by women who are “Facing50.” This is also a perfect selection for women’s reading groups.