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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Available As Is: A Midlife Widow’s Search for Love is a work of non-fiction in the memoir subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Debbie Weiss. The book follows the author’s journey in the aftermath of her husband’s death as she began a new chapter without the only man she’d loved since high school. As she enters a maelstrom of men, each with enough baggage to stun an ox, the author realizes that the politics of dating has become an exercise in compromise for women. Making the decision to step away from the scene, she finds herself alone with nothing but her grief.
It’s impossible to fully imagine the experience of being left alone after a lifetime of having a devoted partner. The sudden absence of that one person for whom you were a top priority isn’t something easily understood by those fortunate enough not to have lived the experience. Fortunately, the beautiful prose of author Debbie Weiss articulates the experience in an authentic and heart-breaking way that delivers both the large moments of devastation and the smaller cuts that slowly build up over time. Her quest to seek out something to fill the void in her life that she struggled to understand is beautifully told in an emotionally honest way that lays bare some honest truths about middle-aged dating in the modern world and the current state of gender politics. Overall, Available As Is sets out a stunning and bittersweet journey of self-discovery that is elevated above your average memoir by a rare breed of emotional honesty and the magic of a gifted wordsmith laying out the lessons learned along the way.