Ok, YES, my title on this post may have made you roll your eyes with its absolute corniness, but I promise, it’s relevant. Maddie Dawson’s The Magic of Found Objects begins by rolling into an interesting premise: 36 year old Phronsie, feeling as if her life is passing her by, has recently gone on dates with 43 different men, and found them all lacking. Her best friend, Judd, who has similarly found no luck in dating, suggests a strictly logical solution: She wants to be married, he wants to be married; they have known each other since childhood so there are no surprises. As they have no luck in finding other people, why not marry each other now, hoping the love will come at a later time?
As a reader, I thought this was a terrible idea. I mean, I personally love the man I married and wouldn’t change a thing and I still sometimes fantasize about living a wonderful single life alone in the woods, cuddling a good book and a cup of deliciously dark Kona coffee without anyone intruding on my “me” space. Phronsie sort of thinks this is a bad idea as well, but her in-laws-to-be are simply thrilled that she is “finally settling down,” and plenty of her friends assure her that she could do far worse than Judd. And it’s true: in our society, if you hit your mid-thirties single but still want to have a partner and children, well, the pressure is on. Phronsie’s parents met at the Woodstock and had a wild, passionate romance, and her mother thinks she should wait for a partner who makes her feel intense love. Judd’s parents, however, think that it’s logical to simply settle down if you want to settle down, true love be damned. Why wait for something that may never happen?
Naturally, as soon as Phronise agrees to Judd’s proposal and the wedding planning is underway, she goes on a work assignment with a co-worker, Adam, who just might be the sort of guy Phronsie’s been wanting to date…except she’s engaged now. Rather than immediately segueing into a typical romantic comedy, the heart of Maddie Dawson’s writing comes out with Phronsie’s introspection. Amid a few bursts of humorous shenanigans, Phronsie muses, “No one, no one, loves me the way I want to be loved. No one loves the whole me.” So then we come back to the question: Do you marry someone you know well but don’t love, or do you take a chance on someone you know nothing about, but think you might be able to love in the future?
While most readers–I assume–haven’t been in Phronsie’s exact situation, her inner struggles and thoughts are something with which plenty of people have struggled. Only we know ourselves best, and even then sometimes we’re in severe denial about a lot of things (I’m definitely not a slob…I just haven’t gotten around to the dishes or laundry again, but I definitely will tomorrow. Definitely. Not a slob.) How can we trust someone else to love the whole of our own person, when often times even we don’t love ourselves? Phronsie comes to a realization that surprises herself, and if you, dear reader, are struggling with a similar question, I hope that The Magic of Found Objects helps you come to the realization that is right for you.
Disclaimer: I borrowed the e-book version out from the Kindle Unlimited program for free and read it on my 10th generation Kindle Oasis. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own.
Title: The Magic of Found Objects
Author: Maddie Dawson
Original Publication Date: August 1, 2021
Print Length: 362 pages
Marie’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars