BLOG TOUR – This is Not About You: A Menmoir by Rosemary Mac Cabe

When I received a direct Twitter message from someone called Grace Pilkington, exactly one month ago saying that she’d love to invite me on a blog tour, I rolled my eyes. I do occasionally get messages and emails similar to this from complete strangers, and 99.9 percent of the time, the subject matter is absolutely nothing to do with anything I’d ever read, let alone review. Also, I’ve cut back on doing blog tours – a LOT! But, out of interest, and because my mother brought me up to be polite, I continued reading. Well … about halfway through Grace’s message, which was obviously a brief description of the book, and a little bit about Rosemary Mac Cabe, I saw the words “… from Dublin, Ireland.” and I was hooked! I immediately looked up this Rosemary person who I’d never heard of and was instantly girl crushing! Yes, yes! Send me the book, sign me up … and here I am!

Believe it or not, I still haven’t had the chance to listen to the podcast that Rosemary does with her sister Beatrice (titled “Not Without My Sister”), but it’s top of my ‘To-Do’ List. Congratulations to Rosemary on the very recent publication of this, her first book of what I hope will be many!

What’s it about …

For once, these men are the objects; I am the subject. Me, me, me. Rosemary Mac Cabe was always a serial monogamist – never happier than when she was in a relationship or, at the very least, on the way to being in one. But in her desperate search for ‘the one’ – from first love to first lust, through a series of disappointments and the searing sting of heartbreak – she learned that finding love might mean losing herself along the way. This Is Not About You is a life story in a series of love stories. About Henry, with the big nose and the lovely mum, with whom sex was like having a verruca frozen off in the doctor’s ‘uncomfortable, but I had entered into this willingly’. About Dan, with the goatee. About Luke, who gave her a split condom. About Francis, who was married… But mostly, it’s about Rosemary, figuring out just how much she was willing to sacrifice for her happy ending.

My thoughts …

This should be required reading for every single young girl who’s contemplating entering the world of dating. Their mothers should also read it so that they might have a bit of a clue on how to advise their daughters. Oh, and while we’re at it, maybe the dads should read it as well. They could also learn a thing or two!

This book is so clever! I kept thinking of that song ‘You’re so Vain (you probably think this song is about you, don’t you?)’. While it’s divided into chapters named after the various men who have featured in Rosemary’s life, this book is wholly about Rosemary herself. The men are merely the conduit through which she explores who she is and how she’s been shaped as an individual by interacting with these individuals over the years.

Rosemary reminisces over past relationships and her constant need to focus on chasing that elusive, perfect ‘we’, instead of concentrating on the more important ‘me’. But now, she takes the time to do that, while looking back at the lessons learned from past experiences. She’s honest, funny, emotional without being gushy, and just downright real.

I loved it, and highly recommend it. I’m so pleased that I read that whole message from Grace! Thanks for contacting me!

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