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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Table for One by Larry Godwin is a non-fiction book in which the author shares their experiences as a sensitive single person and offers those in similar situations, whether by choice, chance, or circumstance, a relatable collection of work in the spirit of camaraderie. The formatting of the book is in the style of literary snapshots. A few lines, sometimes a short paragraph, and sometimes two, Godwin separates these moments of reflection into four distinct and interconnected categories. These include, but are not limited to, New Moon, a part of Godwin’s journey to accept and embrace qualities he previously viewed as deficiencies; High Tide, which addresses the fluctuation of emotions, coping mechanisms, and allowing oneself to feel without getting lost in the same. There are also parts three and four, Branches and Eclipse, which have themes of making oneself emotionally and physically available, highs and lows, and different types of relationships, among many other topics.
I approached Table for One as a sensitive individual who is not currently single but saw myself in Larry Godwin’s words at various stages of my life. Relationships that were unhealthy but accepted because I didn’t want to be alone, the anxiety of feeling like every encounter was a potential job interview for the rest of my life, and the insecurities that arise when we are “people over a certain age” and being single puts us in the minority. I particularly enjoyed part three, Branches, where Godwin writes: “It’s the uncertainty where the friendship will go that’s both exciting and scary.” This takes me back to when my mother once said that a date or an encounter should never have the pressure of romance. Instead, it is the opportunity to make a new friend. Even still, like Godwin, I understand this is far easier said than done. Still, it is such a comfort to be validated and have the opportunity to read nuggets of truth that will surely lift up other readers.