Christina Myers is tired of books and movies portraying older women as non-sexual and undesirable beings because, quite frankly, it just isn’t realistic or true.
In her new fiction book, The List of Last Chances, Myers takes this trope head on by writing the adventure of middle-aged Ruthie responding to an ad to drive somebody’s “aging mother”, Kay, across Canada.
In the book, it is revealed that Kay has some goals of her own on this road trip, including checking items off her sexual bucket list, doing some sightseeing and reminiscing about the past.
“I don’t want to make blanket statements, but in general, I think women have this really long cocoon stage … We think that our butterfly stage is when we’re 23, and really, I think our butterfly stage is when we’re in our 40s and our 50s and our 60s,” said the former South Delta Secondary grad.
Weirdly enough, Myers said a vague outline of the story came to her while she was waking up one morning. And in her fear that she would lose it all, she wrote some of the details and scenes down.
The rest of the details and the inspiration she filled out with her own life experience, including taking cross-country road trips with her family as a child and having rich intergenerational friendships.
“I didn’t want to portray the young character as being really confident all the time or knowing what to do all the time – or even being the more sexually adventurous of the two,” she says, reflecting about the relationship between Ruthie and Kay.
In fact, Ruthie is the “prude” out of her and Kay, laughs Myers.
Myers hopes that readers of her book will be inspired to take the opportunities for adventure when they present themselves.
“I think that we, sort of, underestimate the capacity for magical and unexpected things to keep happening to us, no matter how old we get,” she says.
Some readers of her book have said that it was a perfect escape from the heaviness of living through a global pandemic and have praised how much they were able to relate to it personally, she says.
If you are interested in reading The List of Last Chances, it can be bought at just about any bookstore, including Black Bond Books in Ladner and Albany Books in Tsawwassen. Myers also encourages you to look for it at your local library.For more information on Myers and her work, check out her website at www.cmyers.ca.