Paperback, 269 Pages
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Three friends. Three stories. Three women trying to figure out how they ended up over 40 and still single. Committed to her job and pushing fifty, Catie Delaney has almost given up on her dream of love and marriage. Maybe, she tells herself, she’d be happier just embracing her singleness. Maybe that’s been God’s will all along. Catie’s friends, Jolene and Uli, have their own struggles with men, careers, and family. Then into this mix of feminine angst walks Brian Kemper—the latest GWP (Guy With Potential) to join their church’s singles group. But just as something seems about to happen between him and Catie, her world falls apart. With their hearts on the line, these three friends search for hope … and find it in unexpected places.
Sep 14, 2014
“Spinstered” is a poignant and realistic portrait of unwanted singleness. It offers comfort and hope to readers who have never married and are brokenhearted about it. It’s also just a plain good read that single women and never-married women especially will see themselves in, laugh, and maybe cry, too.
The three main characters are middle-aged Christian women, each struggling in their own way with having never married. The snapshots of their single lives are spot on. There are hopeful moments where you see the women making the most of their singleness. For example there’s a great chapter where Uli, a lovable train-wreck of a character, shoots pro-bono Christmas portraits of poor families, and in the process ends up befriending a single mom and giving her a camera. There are other moments where the realism makes you wince–like the Christian singles retreat with its motley crowd and awkward games; the way various female characters try to discreetly corner the new single guy at church; the moment where a character who has been dumped tries to sneak out of a funeral to avoid seeing her ex. (You can’t make this stuff up!)But Spinstered is far deeper than just a slice of single life. Kopf takes on the hard issues of singleness for those who are trying to follow Christ, and that is what will make this book most valuable to readers.
For example, Uli experiences a heartbreaking slide into pre-marital sex. The main character, Catie, has a secret late-night struggle with pornography and hides behind a shell of bitterness. The book is so redemptive in that Kopf takes the reader all the way into the depths of Catie’s darkness, and shows us that there is light on the other side.I think what I love most about this book is that Kopf doesn’t give her characters any breaks. When Catie tries to whine to a friend about the unfairness of having been jilted, she comes face to face with the hard truth that her romance was mostly a figment of her imagination. In the very last scene of the book, as she is trying to take the high road at the church Christmas party and be happy for the engaged couples around her, she runs into a tall handsome stranger … who immediately brushes her off.In Kopf’s novel, just like in real life, the gut-punches of our alone-ness don’t always get resolved in a marital happy ending. But she offers the promise that we all can have the prize that Catie ultimately finds. For this message of hope, single readers will be grateful.