Foreword Reviews

Champagne for One

Rebekah Iliff’s Champagne for One turns myths about solitude on their head. A lighthearted miscellany of stories, poems, and satire, it paints aloneness as something to be prized, rather than pitied.

Iliff sets out to banish the notion that a romantic partner is necessary for happiness. These days, she and her husband keep separate bathrooms. After all, she notes, solitude is a fond wish, even for those who are married with children.

The title comes from a time when, soon after her best friend’s death, Iliff went to a Nashville spa to celebrate her thirty-ninth birthday. Finding herself sharing the place with a drunken bachelorette party, she ignored their commiserating glances and ordered herself champagne anyway.

Sparkling wine carries throughout the slim book—as a metaphor for a sassy mindset in addition to a literal treat. Illustrator Holly Maher’s Francophile cartoons, black and white with subtle color accents, depict women enjoying solitary bistro meals. A champagne flute graphic even closes each piece. The motifs suit the frothy tone.

The format changes with each spread. For example, the book includes rhyming couplets, a list of shutdowns for awkward conversation, a Simon Says exercise, a spoof of the Lord’s Prayer, and a playlist featuring the likes of “I Am a Rock” by Simon and Garfunkel. There’s even a “Recipe for Stag Stew” that blends “4 ounces confidence” with “1 cup good humor” and so on.

The cheerful Champagne for One fetes the benefits of being on one’s own.

Reviewed by Rebecca Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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