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18 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sudoku, or sex?
Since becoming a Kindle owner, I've been devouring books at a tremendous rate and am constantly on the look out for something new. The title "Ten Good Reasons to Lie About Your Age" attracted me because I haven't ever lied about my own age, but perhaps I should be doing so?

When her record-producer husband is killed, Sally is suddenly an outsider, no longer...
Published on 3 Feb 2011 by Swizzlestick

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I tried to like this book...
I really tried to like this book and gave it a good go, reading up to near the halfway mark. But it just didn't get off the ground. A widow of a rock star left in financial difficulty and putting on a brave face for those around her while she tries to find her way in the world. There were some funny moments and it's very tender and moving in places, but it just moved so...
Published 12 months ago by Lorraine Sears


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sudoku, or sex?, 3 Feb 2011
Since becoming a Kindle owner, I've been devouring books at a tremendous rate and am constantly on the look out for something new. The title "Ten Good Reasons to Lie About Your Age" attracted me because I haven't ever lied about my own age, but perhaps I should be doing so?

When her record-producer husband is killed, Sally is suddenly an outsider, no longer part of a vibrant industry, no longer needed by her drug addict son and selfish daughter, and living in a house she can no longer afford.

Her well-meaning neighbour and friend urges Sudoku and an allotment. Her old friend Ramone offers her a vibrator and promotes the casual sex and one-night stands they enjoyed in their youth when they were both backing singers. Sally has to decide for herself what she wants, and how to get it.

But that's easier said than done. She and her husband weren't a couple, they were each half of a single unit, and without him she doesn't know who or what she is. To find out, she has to shed her wididity, take her courage in her hands, and stand on her own two feet.

There are some laugh out loud moments in Sally's quest to find herself, some cringe-worthy moments in her efforts at seduction, and many poignant moments as she struggles to overcome her own lack of confidence and cling on to her fading looks as she tries to develop belief in herself as a whole person.

While I found this is a highly entertaining and well-written read, it went beyond entertainment because it made me think for the first time - how would I react if I lost my husband? In many instances I thought, yes, that's exactly how I imagine I would feel. I don't know whether the author has written from personal experience, but I certainly feel that she has perfectly portrayed the psyche of a still-young woman who has lost her soul-mate.

Thought-provoking and most enjoyable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, perceptive and moving portrayal of loss and learning to live again, 21 Mar 2011
By 
J. Lofthouse "Jacqui Lofthouse" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Stephanie Zia's book is a beautifully written account of love and loss. Sally Lightfoot is a memorable character and this story of how she overcomes the loss of her husband and reinvents her life is both poignant and immensely moving. Zia draws us into Sally's very real world and shows us the dilemmas she faces. Does she allow her fusty neighbour to lead her into dreary middle-age, gardening and sudoko? Or does she, rather, rediscover her rock-chick past, and refuse to grow old gracefully? In the subsequent story, we follow Sally to a secluded Greek Island where she falls in love with a Leonard Cohen lookalike. It is extremely touching and a page-turner. It's also funny, as Zia is very good at witty observations that strike a chord with real-life experience: in the words of Alexander Pope, 'what oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed'. It's the details that Zia is good at. One minute this book has the reader laughing out loud, the next we are sobbing. We get what Sally has lost but we're also urging her to rediscover her sexuality and we root for her in her new potential love affair. This is a finely written novel that deserves to be a bestseller. It's an intelligent book in which the central character comes fully alive for us, as does the gorgeous Greek island location. I stayed up till 1am to find out whether Sally got her man in the end and I would have stayed up later because I believed in her and I cared. Romantic, hilarious, engaging and highly perceptive. A must-read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful evocation of Hydra, 9 May 2011
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I enjoyed this book immensely, having read it in one long afternoon session. I loved the author's descriptions of Hydra, the little Greek Island where much of the action takes place. I loved the evolving romance and the struggle the main character has in surrendering herself to new possibilities in the wake of grief. I was fascinated by the re-building of a life that had been largely defined by the character's recently deceased husband. Reason no."10" was brilliant. This is a charming book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem, 20 May 2011
This was my first ever e-book purchase and the combination of easy-to-read escapist prose and touch-screen controls made the whole experience great fun. I would say it was a page turner were it not for the fact that it was more a 'next page tapper'. I felt empathy and affection for Sally and I defy any woman (of a certain age or not) not to be intrigued by (and imagine herself involved in) the central romance of the story. Loved the setting too. I particularly liked the fact that there is light and shade - not everything is perfect, which resonates well. A great denouement and a very enjoyable little book - pop it onto your iPhone or Kindle for some ideal summer holiday reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of love and hope, 21 July 2014
By 
S. L. Kerr - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Widow's To Do List (Kindle Edition)
What a lovely light read -- but also with sad and serious elements. Rockn'roll widow Sally is having trouble finding herself after husband's death; well, I can identify with that for sure, because I myself was widowed at age 28. Believe me (and Stephanie Zia's writing does make you believe it) that takes a lot of getting over. In Sally's case she's always been a support act, not only running the house and now-grown-up children, but as a back-up singer. Never one to be in the spotlight, now she has to learn to shine (or not) and remember she can still be a sexy lady. Besides Sally herself my fav characters are wild Ramone and love-to-hate-her Val... oh, but then there's the chaps who run the hangout on Hydra, and I wouldn't mind meeting (or more) Loro... Hydra is beautifully depicted, too. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ten Good Reasons to Lie About Your Age, 15 Aug 2011
Most definitions of the "coming of age" story involve a youth's transformation into adulthood. Although not as dramatic, there are other changes later in life that are equally , and often more, traumatic. For some, retirement is like this. I could tell you some horror stories about former significant others and empty nest syndrome. For Sally Lightfoot it is primarily widowhood at a relatively young age.

The struggles Sally goes through are not unlike those of a young person in the typical coming of age story. There are issues of sex and romance. Is she ready? Will she ever be ready? There are concerns with finances and what she'll do for a job.

"Ten Good Reasons to Lie About Your Age" got off to a slow start for me. As the story progressed and Sally started interacting more with people beyond her children and a small number of others, the story picked up steam. As this happened, her story also became more humorous, rather than just sad, and I began rooting for her to find her new equilibrium and, hopefully, happiness. As with a coming of age story, those who are going through a similar situation can take comfort in the fact that the difficulties are universal. Those who have already been there (and those convinced they never will) can laugh at Sally's foibles.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read, 28 Feb 2011
By 
L. Voss "Louise Voss" (SW London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I really enjoyed this novel. The pace races along from the moment that Sally heads off on her own to the Hydra to find herself (or, as her friend says, to 'lose her wididity') after the death of her beloved husband in a freak accident on a skiing holiday. The book is rich with the atmosphere of a Greek island in summer; strong coffees, bright flowers, azure seas, cool shuttered apartments. And interesting locals! There's a fantastically sexy Leonard Cohen tribute artist in it... I'm saying no more.... Lovely. Couldn't put it down!

Louise Voss
Author of Killing Cupid

Killing Cupid: A Psychological Crime Novel
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cheesy but with veracity, 25 Mar 2014
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Some good pointers a bout how grief manifests itself in so many ways. Some we think we know, and some are rarely acknowledged till later. There was some messy description, but the book moved along wee
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unexpected discovery, 27 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Widow's To Do List (Kindle Edition)
I read this because it was cheap I think, but I loved the story, really really good read. Nice and light and contemporary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost A Five, 21 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Widow's To Do List (Kindle Edition)
This is the first time I have read any of Stephanie's work and I can truthfully say that I shall do so again.
I was drawn in completely from the opening chapter, and I found myself cringing, agonising, laughing and crying with the main character Sally, who had just lost her husband.
The story was very well written and the only reason I feel unable to give it a full five stars are those small errors that detract from your reading experience.
A little better on the proof reading and this would have been (for me) an all out hit! Smiles.

Stephanie, I'm glad that I now have your work on my radar and I'm looking forward to reading more.

K.
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The Widow's To Do List by Stephanie Zia
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