Young at Heart: The Series
by Beth Mathison
Overview (from B&N.com): Originally published as stand-alone short stories, Beth Mathison’s heartwarming series about a couple looking to rekindle their romance is finally collected in one volume. Frannie and David Young have been married over twenty years, have two kids, busy jobs, a house in the suburbs and a dog named Max. To keep the romance alive in their relationship, they plan a “date” twice a month. Their block of time together includes very few rules, no kids or dogs, but requires an open mind. Frannie and David switch off planning dates, depending on the NFL’s schedule and how the planets are aligned that particular month.
“Off the Dock”
It’s David’s week to choose and the couple is off on a fishing trip. When the fish refuse to bite, will the couple find anything to talk about to fill the silence? Or, will the couple find themselves falling back in love hook, line and sinker?
“French Romance Cooking Class”
Frannie chooses a hands-on French cooking class as their outing. As they struggle with the “right” way to spice up their lives (both in and out of the kitchen), they discover that their strength as a couple depends on their ability to “wing it.” They also discover that “winging it” with raw oysters, a bottle of wine and an eccentric French cook can make for one interesting date.
“A Mission to the Mustard Museum”
Frannie and David visit the Mustard Museum where they encounter life-sized bottles of condiments, Louisiana hot sauce, and crowds of elderly tourists. Fearing their relationship has lost its “zing” as they head towards being Empty Nesters, they reaffirm their passion for each other, Mustard Museum style.
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Goodreads group Making Connections in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts: It seems like most literary relationships are either steam-up-the-windows hot or just plain boring, not exactly relatable… for most people. The author (Beth Mathison) of Young at Heart: The Series managed to put her characters, Frannie and David, firmly in between those 2 options (something I started thinking was impossible).
Frankly I didn’t know what to make of Young at Heart: The Series, at first. I’m not married, therefore I can’t relate to Frannie and David’s need for a “date night”. There were a few editing errors, that could really be overlooked depending on whether you’re reading it in the US or the UK. Some of the dialogue seemed a little too formal and expansive to actually be a conversation. I understand that parts were more for the reader’s understand of Frannie and David’s relationship, but because it was part of the dialogue it just didn’t quite work. It was also kind of weird that there really was a physical description of either main character, other than they’d put on some weight (most people do as the get older).
I thought the concept of 3 short stories focusing on different dates nights was intriguing. Plus the dates were actually pretty cool ideas (who thinks of going to a mustard museum?!). Even with all of the flaws I genuinely enjoyed reading Young at Heart: The Series. It was a quick read (34 pages as a PDF) and made me laugh out loud a few times. I think it’s worth the read and would definitely recommend Young at Heart: The Series to the young and the older, married and single.
3.5 out of 5 Bookmarks (I liked it, but I just can’t quite give it 4 full bookmarks)
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