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Reviewed by Michael Gardner for Readers' Favorite
I have to admit Middle-Aged Crazy by Lynne M. Spreen was not quite what I expected, but I’m far from disappointed. Looking at the cover, I leaped to the conclusion I would find a collection of stories about people hitting 50, going off the rails, buying a sports car, and trying to regain their youth. What the book delivers is a collection of very well-written short stories ranging from light-hearted, such as the wryly witty Barely Afloat, to deeply contemplative, such as The Girl From Circle Island. And as you reach the end, the title makes perfect sense. This is a difficult stage of life when you gain an understanding that your life will come to an end, and you reflect on how well you’ve lived it so far, what you’ve missed, and what’s still within your grasp.
I believe Middle-Aged Crazy will speak loudest to people approaching, going through, or who have experienced this soul-searching phenomenon we call ‘middle-age.’ Any teens that think they have problems really don’t know what’s coming for them. I’m going to harp on about one story in particular, which was the stand-out for me, even though the quality of storytelling was excellent throughout. The Girl From Circle Island is a stunning story, capturing all the difficulty described above in a tragic, soulful, and ultimately uplifting tale. It’s a story that lingers with you long after reading it and I’d rate Middle-Aged Crazy five stars for this story alone. I listened to the audiobook and big props should be given to Jennifer Jill Araya who delivers a very good reading performance. Overall, the production quality of the audiobook is excellent.