Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The May Queen” as Want to Read:
The May Queen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The May Queen

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  125 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
This collection of original essays by women in their thirties celebrates this often maligned period in a woman's life as, in fact, a productive, dynamic, and vibrant time of self-invention and personal and professional creativity If recent bestsellers such as The Bitch in the House and Midlife Crisis at Thirty serve as any indication of how women are experiencing their thi ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 23rd 2006 by Tarcher (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The May Queen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The May Queen

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 339)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 30, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jamie
Recommended to Amy by: Jessamine and Kirsten
I have only just started reading this collection of short stories written by women entering their 30s. The collection includes observations and personal anecdotes by a variety of women who have chosen a variety of different life paths. The following is a review of one of the stories I read.

One of the short stories, "The Missing Biological Clock" by Meghan Daum, evaluated the social and personal implications of choosing not to have children. In witty and, at times, biting prose, she evalutes the
Tina Siegel
Jun 20, 2014 Tina Siegel rated it it was ok
So, some of the essays were okay, but I wanted more variety. Where are the bisexual girls? The polyamorists? The women whose individuality extended beyond delaying marriage and child-bearing? I mean, really - the spectrum of female experience presented here is so limited as to be insulting.

I also found the overall tone of the book a bit saccharine for my taste. Guess what? Not everyone ends up alright. Not everyone embraces life, with all it's flaws, and comes to terms with it. Where were those
Melissa Railey
The title of The May Queen is pretty self-explanatory. This is a collection of essays written by women in their 30s talking about how they learned that turning the big 3-0 wasn't the end of the world and how their lives really came together in their 30s. I'm not exactly sure how I felt about this book. I had very high hopes for it. I am in my 30s. When I saw this book in a magazine, I thought it was a great idea so I got it on inter-library loan to read. I had hoped to be inspired by the book bu ...more
Jo (Bloomin'Chick)
Feb 19, 2008 Jo (Bloomin'Chick) rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jo (Bloomin'Chick) by: heather/goodreads friend
Shelves: finished-2008, memoir
(picked up @ the library on 2/9) so far this isn't clicking with me! it seems a bit stereo typical and negative so far. i don't know. i think i felt & did more of this stuff in my teens & 20's than i do now in my 30's! (maybe i'm dyslexic in more ways than one!!!)

for what ever reasons, i've never felt much of the stereo-typical pressures that a lot of women face. did i relentlessly look for love in all the wrong guys & places?! you betcha! in the last 1/2 of my 20's and at first for
Jan 03, 2008 Tracy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who obsess over meeting the right person and having the most amazing baby in the world
Hmmm...not what I expected. There are at least two great essays included in the selection, and a handful of good ones. But, it seemed like the same type of woman in various cities with different jobs were writing the same story: I was a happy-go-lucky/out-of-control fuck up until I met the right man and gave birth to the most amazing baby in the world!

There was only one essay that presented a p.o.v. of a woman choosing not to have kids. And, only a few that didn't address motherhood at all or on
May 17, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was, at first, a bit put off when I realized the sample of women used here were actual writers, actors, artists, playwrights, etc. Where were the nurses, hair stylists, police women? The girl that bags your groceries or the woman that's a nanny to your kiddos?

I realized that those women could still be found within these writer/artist women. They are from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and bring their unique life experiences to the plate.

I found some stories cute, inspirational;
Jul 02, 2007 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely
ok so i was in the library and this book literally jumped out at me...ok maybe not but it was sitting on the 7 day express shelf and the title screamed to me :-) it was right around my bday and i was very depressed that in a year i will be the dreaded 30....this book was a compilation of different people who have all turned 30 and was great to see though how everyone has different expectations about where they thought they would be at 30...whether it was in relationships with frien ...more
Like any essay collection, I did not LOVE every piece, but, overall, the collection is quite fantastic. I believe that anyone studying feminism or who is part of the intended audience of thirty-something-women would find caveats of wisdom and connection in this collection. There is at least one essay for any woman. The breadth of this collection is well thought out and curated by the editor. My favorite pieces came toward the end of the collection; my favorite being "Milk Dress: A Nursing Song." ...more
Jan 28, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was complaining about turning 30 and who knows what else, when a collegue mentioned I check out this book, in addition to inviting me to a book discussion that evening. I didn't make the discussion, but I did go and buy the book the very next day, which is a compilation of very well written essays from various women about their personal experience with being in their 30's - past, present and future. I failed to realize my collegue had actually contributed to this book! What's funny is her stor ...more
Jan 01, 2009 anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There were a few essays in here that I really liked, but overall they blurred together in rather unmemorable ways. I think I would have liked a memoir from any one of the writers better than the anthology - most of the essays felt somewhat reductive and less holistic than I would want, with too much attention being paid in many cases to the idea of your 30s than to the actual experiences. But then again, I'm in my early twenties, so maybe someday I'll feel differently.
Sep 26, 2008 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know, I'm such a cliche. Buying all these books to try to gain some perspective on leaving my 20s. This book was really great though, and it included many of my favorite writers. I even got to hear from some of my favorite 90s rock stars like Tanya Donelly and be introduced to some great writers I never knew. Some stories were lame, but most were beautiful and came from a wide variety of perspectives and life experiences. I would definitely reccomend this one.
Shara Davis
This was a nice collection of essays - I picked it up because it features several authors I enjoy. However, I think I was hoping for a more diverse group of viewpoints, but felt like this ended up being "I turned 30, had kids, they're the joy of my life. And I also manage to have a great writing career". I'd suggest it as a good book for a flight or at the beach, but it didn't really challenge or stay with me.
Jun 11, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Beth
This was given to me by my housemate already in her thirties. My response to the collection was, "wow, no matter decision anyone makes, they think that it is a singular decision and that they are alone." My friend in her forties skimmed it and said, "this book just proves that your own instinctual path is really the best one for you." Either way, it's a pretty good collection of essays.
Aug 25, 2010 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This could have been a celebration of women in their thirties. I was thinking all different flavors, but with a feeling of Anne Lamott. But I didn't find much to connect to in this book, either when I bought it several years ago or recently when I gave it another try. Some of the essays are not well-written, and it did not seem to celebrate life or femininity or anything much.
Jun 14, 2008 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
For anyone standing on the brink of 30 (or making their way into that stage)...this collection of essays is a brilliant way to view the 30-something decade from varying points of view. I finished it at decided that far from dreading the end of this quarter-century mini-crisis that one generally has in their twenties, I'm quite looking forward to the big 3-0.
Feb 19, 2013 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the essays in this book made me laugh and made me feel less alone about fearing the scary number 30. However, some of the other essays made me see red. At least two of the essays in this book insinuate a woman is not complete until she has a child. What happened to live and let live, to celebrating EVERYONE'S life decisions?
May 21, 2011 Misti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I am about to turn 31 this book resonated very much with me. So many stories about careers, love, friendship and motherhood, all of it I could relate to. I highly recommend this book of short stories.
Jul 31, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. It's a collection of essays written by women from all different walks of life reflecting on how their lives changed from their 20's to their 30's and the lessons they learned.
Heidi Winterowd
Aug 13, 2008 Heidi Winterowd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for any female writer...or wannabe writer. Also a must read for women transitioning from 20's to 30's. I found a lot of solace and insight from these women's stories.
Melissa Cavanaugh
A nice overview of the dilemmas women hit in their 30s: Who am I? What am I doing? Is this the right guy? The right job? The right time for babies? Well written and enjoyable.
May 14, 2010 Kammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a cool collection of women's writings! Each essay is unique, and the perspectives presented by these women were thought-provoking as well as entertaining.
Nov 02, 2008 Sadie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the honesty from the women in this book. Definitely a good read for women headed into their thirties. Entertaining as well as insightful.
Mar 21, 2009 Carrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure I like this book it is a collection of essays written by woman as they turn 30. I will keep ready and see what I think at the end.
Mar 18, 2011 Tricia is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of short stories. I just pick it up when I need something light to read, so it will probably take me a while.
Dec 18, 2009 Tiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for research. Turning 30 was never an issue for me, but I wanted to know why it was for some. Found it all rather fascinating.
Mar 09, 2009 Yn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this collection of essays by women. There's a wonderful mixture of everything in it.
Amy Nemcik
Apr 02, 2008 Amy Nemcik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of short stories dealing with the big 3-0 and everything that goes along with it.
Really enjoyed it- different perspectives on life experiences in your 30's- recommend it!
Dec 14, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feminist lit anthology at it's best. Eff you, third-life crisis. LMAO
Milda Harris
Aug 22, 2007 Milda Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone nearing or in their 30s
Some great short stories about life...after the big 3-0.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers
  • The Bigger the Better, the Tighter the Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image, and Other Hazards of Being Female
  • The Mammoth Book of Erotica: New Edition
  • Young Wives' Tales: New Adventures in Love and Partnership
  • She's Such a Geek!: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff
  • Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Rock, Pop, and Rap
  • It's So You: 35 Women Write About Personal Expression Through Fashion and Style
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection
  • The Hunger Trace
  • Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs
  • Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families
  • Midlife Crisis at 30
  • Wuhu Diary: On Taking My Adopted Daughter Back to Her Hometown in China
  • Valentine's Day Collection 2013: The Tycoon's Rebel Bride / The Illegitimate King / Engagement Between Enemies / The Prince's Mistress / Cowboy's Special Woman
  • A Million Bucks by 30: How to Overcome a Crap Job, Stingy Parents, and a Useless Degree to Become a Millionaire Before (or After) Turning Thirty
  • Love Has No Boundaries Anthology: Volume 2
  • Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History
  • Love Has No Boundaries Anthology: Volume 1
Andrea N. Richesin is the editor of four anthologies, Crush: 26 Real-life Tales of First Love; Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond; What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of their Daughters; and The May Queen: Women on Life, Love, Work and Pulling it all Together in Your Thirties. Her books have been excerpted and p ...more
More about Andrea N. Richesin...

Share This Book