Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Features Writer
3:57 PM 25th January 2021

Book Review - All The Tw*ts I Met Along The Way - Carolyn Hobdey (Filament Publishing)

A word of warning before you start to read this book by Harrogate based Carolyn Hobdey - it is highly addictive. I picked up the book to have a quick look through it at 10pm - by 12.30am I was still engrossed in this true tales of awful boyfriends, manipulating men, love triangles and unsupported medical diagnoses.

Carolyn Hobdey
Carolyn Hobdey
The front cover proclaims.... “and you thought Bridget Jones had issues ...” which lends itself to trick the reader into thinking that this is a book just for women. Far from it, rather than going down the route of “look at me, haven’t I been a victim, look at how I have been mistreated” Carolyn comes across as passionate, loving, thoughtful, caring, kind - and at times very gullible.

You would have thought with all the former attributes she would have ended up attracting the man of every women’s dreams, but as most of the mainly female readers who will read this book know, that doesn’t always happen.

Whilst the female reader will undoubtedly resonate with what life throws at the writer, from a man’s point of view there are lots of lessons that men could learn from reading this thought-provoking book, the most important one being in how not to treat a woman.

Written in chronological order, the tone at times is like reading Carolyn’s personal diary. She has a knack of giving a vivid encounter of events, so much so you feel at times you are actually there beside her.

From what seems a fairly happy childhood to her early relationships, the reader is drawn in and gripped by the events that happen along the way. She seems to have been unlucky so many times, such as going through the menopause at 32 years old when she was yet to start a family to a lover who became more like a brother, who hid his homosexuality throughout their 15 year relationship.

They say that having a job brings structure and stability to your life, when things are going wrong in your personal life, work is always there and you have to get on with it. It is a good job (pardon the pun) that she did indeed have a good career ahead of her in Human Resources, but in the end the shallow world of corporate life she discovers is not really for her.

Through on-line dating she meets Simon who has a ready made family. He turns out to be a controlling, manipulative and deceitful man who had a temper. Of course it all starts off like looking through rose-tinted glasses: the dream home they are going to share together, the holidays abroad together and making wonderful memories (and a few bad ones), it sounds idyllic with the ready made family she had always dreamed of.

After all the upset, before you feel happy for Carolyn that she has finally found happiness, but for some reason this new man in her life is never satisfied - he always wanted something new in his endless pursuit of evasive happiness. As a man it made me want to shout out to Simon “you don’t know how lucky you are to have found Carolyn”. Of course he goes off with another woman younger than him. Sometimes you cannot see the wood for the trees.

Before the “younger model” comes into view Simon decides to take Carolyn away to Italy for what is meant to be a romantic break. Whilst waiting for lunch he starts talking about his ex-wife and compares a part of her anatomy to that of his new partner saying that his ex’s were far bigger!

How Carolyn did not throw her glass of Prosecco or wine in his face and get back on the next plane to England is beyond me. I am sure most woman would have done just that - Instead she calmly and firmly offers that he would not like it if she compared part of his sexual prowess to that of one of her ex’s. Touché.

I will not spoil how he is exposed about his new lady but let’s just say it’s classic.

I really do hope that men read this book. I think seldom few will do as it will bring home a lot of home truths. No make that many home truths. For any of the ladies reading this you will certainly resonate with this story. Unlike Carolyn though many are trapped in a relationship that they cannot get out of due to financial restraints, but after reading her story it will certainly empower them.

We discover that Carolyn now runs a successful business that helps people navigate change to achieve balance, happiness and success in their professional and personal life. She enjoys boxing too (she has had plenty of targets that she would like to hit I’m sure).

Deep down though it left me thinking that whilst all these avenues might make up for something else missing in her life, they can’t put your arm around you at night, look after you when you are sick and care for you. I’m sure that genuine, stable, caring, loving and thoughtful man is out there, as Michael Buble sings, she “just hasn’t met him yet”.