Mid-life crisis -- fiction

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

Dear American Airlines

Most people know what it feels like to be stuck in limbo somewhere between departure and destination. Even if your journey was perfectly planned, there are so many things that can easily go awry and impede your progress. In Dear American Airlines, that agonizing stasis is symptomatic of much more than an airline’s incompetence or a missed connection. It characterizes the 53 years that Benjamin R. Ford has been living and drawing breath.

While en route from New York to Los Angeles, Bennie’s flight is abruptly canceled. Even though the sky is bright and the clouds look picturesque, rather than ominous, American Airlines claims foul weather has interfered with the scheduled flight. As a consequence, Bennie finds himself trapped in Chicago’s O’Hare airport with no way out. But he does have a pen, some paper, and the desire to complain to American Airlines.

The entirety of Jonathan Miles’s poignant and humorous novel is written in the form of a letter of complaint. At first, Bennie’s explicit goal is to write and get his ticket refunded. As the letter progresses, however, it becomes quite clear that a check from American Airlines will not resolve Bennie’s existential crisis.

Blues Dancing

By Diane McKinney-Whetstone

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For the last twenty years, the beautiful Verdi Mae has led a comfortable life with Rowe, the conservative professor who rescued her from addiction when she was an undergrad. But her world is about to shift when the smell of butter lingers in the air and Johnson -- the boy from the back streets of Philadelphia who pulled her into the fire of passion and all the shadows cast from it -- returns to town.
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We Are All Fine Here

By Mary Guterson

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A discontented woman (married, with a teenage son, and fast approaching middle age) who dallies in her past--with startling, humorous, and bittersweet consequences.

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The Pull of the Moon

By Elizabeth Berg

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"Uncomfortable with the fit of her life, now that she's in the middle of it, Nan gets into her car and just goes--driving across the country on back roads, following the moon; and stopping to talk to people. Through conversations with women, men, with her husband through letters, and with herself through her diary, Nan confronts topics long overdue for her attention. She writes to her husband and says things she's never admitted before; and she discovers how the fabric of her life can be reshaped into a more authentic creation."
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Fluke, or I know Why the Winged Whale Sings

By Christopher Moore

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"Just why do humpback whales sing? That's the question that has marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn and his crew poking, charting, recording, and photographing very big, wet, gray marine mammals. Until the extraordinary day when a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters: Bite me. Trouble is, Nate's beginning to wonder if he hasn't spent just a little too much time in the sun. 'Cause no one else on his team saw a thing, not his longtime partner, Clay Demodocus; not their saucy young research assistant; not even the spliff-puffing white-boy Rastaman Kona (ne Preston Applebaum). But later, when a roll of film returns from the lab missing the crucial tail shot, and his research facility is trashed, Nate realizes something very fishy indeed is going on."
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Tomcat in Love

By Tim O'Brien

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"A wildly funny, brilliantly inventive novel about a man torn between two obsessions: the desperate need to win back his former wife and a craving to test his erotic charms on every woman he meets.

"He is 6'6" tall, a cross between Ichabod Crane and Abe Lincoln. He is a professor of linguistics, bewitched by language, deluded about his ability to win the hearts of women with his erudition and physical appeal. He is Thomas H. Chippering, a.k.a. Tomcat, a masterly addition to the pantheon of unforgettable characters in American fiction."

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Four Blondes

By Candace Bushnell

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"...tells the stories of four women facing up to the limitations of their rapidly approaching middle age in an era that worships youth. From the former 'It-girl' heroine of 'Nice N'Easy,' who each summer looks for a rich man who'll provide her with a house in the Hamptons, to the writer-narrator of 'Single Process,' who goes to London on a hunt for love and a good magazine story, Bushnell brings to life contemporary women in search of something more -- when the world is pushing for them to settle for less. Sexy, funny, and wonderfully lush with gossep and scandal..."
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God on a Harley

By Joan Brady

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At thirty-seven, Christine Moore had a world-class case of burnout: frustrating career, a few dead-end romances, and a less-than-perfect figure. Little did she know her life was about to change completely when God (?) (on a Harley) arrives. Need a lift?

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