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Funny and Poignant: A New Book About Dating After 60

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Diane Wade, author of “Molly Learns to Float,” a novel based on her online dating experiences after turning 60.

How we keep ourselves buoyant through life’s joys and tragedies is a key tenet of survival and one thoroughly explored in the new book “Molly Learns to Float.”

Author Diane Wade has captured both the heartache and humor experienced by a woman who suddenly losses her husband of 35 years to an untimely death and moves on to learn how to reinvent herself.

Based on Wade’s own life experiences, “Molly Learns to Float” is a poignant, engaging read that’s hard to put down.

Wade’s husband died of health-related issues in 2015 when she was 58. When she started dating a few years later, she realized she hadn’t dated for closed to 40 years, and her venture into online dating involved a full cast of characters. Some of the stories in the book are loosely based on those encounters.

“Molly is not me but she has flavors of me,” Wade said. “In reality I still wanted to have a life and that meant I had to rethink everything about myself. I was honest about the ups and downs, of being open to new experiences. Some are good and some are bad, but if you keep a sense of humor, you’ll be okay.”

When Wade met her first husband, online dating obviously didn’t exist. A newly-single woman in her late 50s, she was challenged by engaging with the electronic arena of matchmaking services. She writes about Molly’s series of dates and the roller coaster of hopefuls and rejections, which are funny, sad and quirky.

Trust of the unknown and checking up on perspective dates was something Wade said she became adept at in her own dating experience.

“I wanted to make sure of their last name before I met them,” she said. “The whole online dating takes a certain leap of faith.”

There are chapters entitled “Peter the Pickle Man,” “The Real World Guy,” “Very Blind Dates,” “Internet First: From Mr. Kinky Sense of Humor to Mr. Weeble,” “Stan The Nice, Trivia Genius Man.”

There are also colorful characters who make up Molly’s Mom Squad, women friends of Wade’s who offer both solicited and unsolicited feedback on her many dates.

“I did actually have a mom squad that helped me,” Wade recalled. “They were a group of women in New Rochelle, and they were funny, warm and they helped me.”

Wade’s book is written in the first person because she wanted to draw people in and relate to Molly’s individual journey.

“There are so many emotions and we all have them,” she said. “I love the fact that men and women in their 40s to their 70s look different but are still youthful, want to keep working and don’t want to be put out to pasture. I wanted to convey that you can go on and this is how I did it.”

In the book’s introduction, Wade said her goal was to hopefully inspire older women that “even at almost 60, when you may feel you are becoming invisible, it is possible to find beauty in life again and flourish, even after devastating tragedy.”

Although this is her first book, Wade, who was born in New Rochelle and raised in Ossining, is no stranger to writing, having had a long career as an advertising creative director and writer.

When her husband died, she took over his large printing company for three years before she sold it. She started writing “Molly Learns to Float” seven years after her husband died.

She currently lives in Stamford, Conn. and remarried five years ago to a man she met online. Wade is currently working on a second novel.

She will be speaking about her new book at Waterstone of Westchester in White Plains on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.

“Molly Learns to Float” is available for purchase on Amazon and at local bookstores.

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