Review: How to Complain When There’s Nothing to Complain About

Book Review: How to Complain When There's Nothing to Complain About

By Susan Goldfein (Citrine Publishing 2018)

Review by Kathleen Mulroy

A quick glance at the contents section of How to Complain When There’s Nothing to Complain About: More Thoughts About Life from the Far Side of the Hill gives prospective readers a window into author Susan Goldfein’s quirky sense of humor. She groups her personal essays about the ups and downs of aging into five sections: Spousal Privilege; You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby; How Did I Get Here?; How to Complain; and Ending on a High Note.

In these short pieces, she muses—usually with tongue firmly in cheek—on every-day topics, like her husband’s (usually) endearing oddities; antisocial feelings about social media; annoying television commercials; hair dying dilemmas; “becoming” one’s mother; and not having a bucket list.

To quote Goldfein, the author likes to use humor to combat “the foibles of domestic life, the indignities of aging in an ageist society, ridiculous social trends, and (other types of) nuttiness I happen to be observing that day.”

Because of the subject matter and the author’s point of view, this book will likely appeal mostly to folks quite a bit over the age of 60. Those who are in long-term relationships will particularly appreciate Goldfein’s funny takes on navigating life with a spouse.

While most of the essays are written from the female perspective (not surprisingly), men who want to gain a little insight into some of the trying issues that women deal with as they age might also enjoy the book.

Many of Goldfein’s observations about being a senior (or elder, geezer, old person, wise person, senior citizen, or whatever you prefer as a designation for having landed on the “Far Side of the Hill”) will likely have readers nodding their heads in agreement and frequently laughing out loud.

Susan Goldfein’s first book was How Old Am I in Dog Years? and Other Thoughts About Life on the Far Side of the Hill. It won three humor-writing awards. She writes a monthly humor column for the Florida newspaper Lifestyles After 50 as well as articles for other senior-oriented publications.

Her essays have appeared in The Palm Beach Post and in Hearst Publications. Goldfein also writes a blog called “Susan’s Unfiltered Wit” ( Before becoming a writer, Goldfein was a speech pathologist, professor, and consultant. ISI