To a lot of people, turning thirty is a pivotal moment, a moment to stand back, look at their life and what they've accomplished, and decide where to go from there. To Matt Beckford, it's a time of much confusion and soul-searching - especially when his live-in girlfriend, Elaine, decides to break up with him a few weeks before the big day.
Lonely and disappointed, Matt takes a leave of absence from his job as a programmer in new York to go back to England and spend some quality time with his family. Unfortunately, his parents, though well-meaning, simply aren't equipped to deal with a grown-up Matt, leading to some hilarious scenes in the family living-room.
Catching up with old friends and familiar places, Matt soon runs across Ginny Pascoe, his high-school sweetheart - and before long, finds himself falling for her all over again. The situation is further complicated by Matt's transatlantic email correspondence with Elaine, who is now missing him tremendously, and his thirty-something friends, each with their own quirks and problems.
Declared by many to be the male "Bridget Jones' Diary", "Turning Thirty" is a well-written tale, the story of an average Joe's search for meaning and true love as he approaches thirty. Often funny, sometimes surprising, but always warm and touching, this is a book which both sexes will want to read to gain an understanding of the often-conflicting views held by men and women on important things - relationships, music, getting older, and forgiving past sins. Worth a look-see!This article was first published on 28 Mar 2001.