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Turning Thirty





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About the book:

Mike Gayle's previous novels My Legendary Girlfriend and Mr Commitment have already wittily chronicled living and loving among the twentysomethings at the end of the 20th century. As time marches on, Gayle's latest novel Turning Thirty deals with what happens when his characters reach that most dreaded of moments--the big three-o. Matt Beckford is reaching that time of life. At the age of 29 he thinks he has answered those two crucial questions you ask yourself as a teenager: "What am I going to do with my life?" and "Will I ever get a girlfriend?" Living as a computer expert in New York with the lovely Elaine, Matt thinks he's cracked life. But then both he and Elaine suddenly realise that their relationship isn't working. They split up amicably, realising that "biology is telling us there's no point in crying over spilt milk", and Matt heads back to his friends and parents in Birmingham. As his 30th birthday looms, Matt meets Ginny Pascoe, an old flame, or more accurately "a girl who was also a friend who I sometimes snogged", and things get more complicated as he realises that he's falling for Ginny--again. The transatlantic love triangle that develops between Matt, Ginny and Elaine is funny and refreshing, and lacks the usual angst you would expect from such a situation. As Matt enjoys the nostalgia of going out with old friends and loves, he also realises he needs to sort out his life, as 30 beckons. Turning Thirty is another sharp, funny and astute offering from Gayle, that won't disappoint his growing army of fans. (This review refers to the hardcover edition of this title.) --Jerry Brotton

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