In Sally Goldenbaum’s For Men Only, Ellie Livingston first met Pete Webster on what she dubbed the blind date from hell. Now Ellie is giving cooking classes to men and Pete is in her first class. Will spending so much time together change things?
This book was originally published in 1994 and shows its age just a little. Ellie’s big problem comes from her wanting to make a success of herself and having some issues with the attitude that women belong in the home, not in the work place. I was in college then, not trying to make my way in the job market, but I remember the time as being more open than this. I expected to find the book written in the 80s instead of the 90s based on this issue, but it has been almost 20 years so I may not be remembering things as they actually were.
Pete’s views are more understandable and stem from a childhood of neglect, plus a wife that left him and their kids for her career. I didn’t really see it as so much of a belief against women’s equality as I did one of a man that had certain expectations of what he wanted his family dynamic to be like. And it is one that is very understandable and accepatble based on his history. I don’t think it is explicity stated that he wants a wife to stay home and not have a job, but he does want someone that will be there for him and his kids when they need her.
Overall, the book is very enjoyable. The characters are well-developed and believable, just remember the time the book was written. Ellie and Pete have good chemistry and their interactions have just enough steam to heat things up. For Men Only is a touching and humorous read, with enough heart to keep readers going.