Tova Leigh – F*cked at 40

Why everyone needs to read Tova Leigh’s F*cked at 40 book.


Have a read of Tova Leigh’s F*cked at 40 they said, write us a review they said, just jot down your thoughts they said. Sure, we’re on lockdown, perfect time to start reading after 2 kids, one failed marriage and 8 years of not picking up a book later I found solace whilst the kids watched a movie and started reading. Little did I know that Tova’s book, F*cked at 40, was about to unleash a whole torrent of emotions that even I, the queen of keeping it together was not prepared for. 

Let’s address my position in life as being part of the F*ck It Forties Club…I joined in January…it wasn’t enjoyable nor was it disastrous. Just a stark realisation that I wasn’t where I thought I’d be in life. I quickly planned my speech for the p*ss up sprung upon me by 30 friends…the speech was funny in my head…my goals for 40 were happy marriage, couple of kids, own house, earning a nice amount of money…goals achieved…f*ck all. Oh sorry I forgot the kids…i have 2 awesome kids…awesome most of the time, total sh*t bags the rest of the time. I didn’t deliver the speech, I muttered for 2 minutes about being thankful for having more than 1 friend, necked my drink whilst getting f*cked off with the bloke that I’ve been seeing who was sulking in the corner…at my 40th. It’s almost like I could be a contributor to Tova’s book…

Tova Leigh’s book called F*cked at 40 is funny, relatable and yet too bloody relatable in my case. The failed marriage, the moment of clarity where you look at your life and go what the sodding hell has happened, the desire to change but the overriding knackeredness (is that even a word?) that suppresses any ideas or energy. Yet Tova came out the other side and I didn’t…or at least I don’t feel like I have. I am over-ridden with anxiety about how to navigate 2 kids through divorced parents. I thought it would get easier 6 years down the line. It doesn’t. The older they get the more questions they have and they’re frustrated, so bloody frustrated at going between 2 houses. I get that. Through it all I answer my kids with brutal honesty which is something Tova refers to throughout her book. Too brutal possibly, they’re kids, but they’re also not stupid and they should be respected in their ability to know the truth. We simply don’t work living under the same roof, we’re best friends (are we f*ck) and that even though the situation isn’t perfect it means happy parents who don’t yell at each other (much). 

Tova references the frustration at losing her identity, at wanting more from her relationship, her desire to be ‘sexual’. It’s most definitely an area of my life that’s become very apparent. Whilst always being the ‘quiet’ one on the surface, the conformist, the sensible level headed one, behind the scenes…not so much. And yet I’m never willing to talk about it…why…who knows but as Tova says, what’s wrong with fantasising about getting fucked by the gardener?!

But who the heck knows. Reading Tova’s book during isolation has made me question every bone of my body, every friendship I’ve made, every life decision about my marriage and subsequent divorce. Maybe I needed to address it. It’s been exhausting and overwhelming but cathartic. But what has emerged off the back of the read is that we’re all in this together, every woman has their insecurities, frustrations both behind the scenes and publicly. Saying ‘stop’ I want to re-address the balance in my life is by no means a sign of weakness, quite the reverse. A strength emerges, a clarity, I am who I am and I can control who I am. Tova’s book has in a way ‘normalised’ my situation, I only wish I’d read it 20 years ago!


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