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Turner Grant
To Venus and Back, One Man's Quest to Rediscover Love
Turner Grant, author
TWO YEARS AFTER THE UNEXPECTED DEATH OF HIS WIFE, TURNER GRANT WAS READY TO CONSIDER LOVE ONCE MORE. YET EVERYTHING HAD CHANGED, AND HE SOON FOUND HIMSELF ADRIFT IN THE DIGITAL-DATING WORLD. At age fifty-one, Turner Grant became a widower and single parent to his twin boys. Deep in grief, he often found daily routines difficult and his work as an architect in Washington DC, arduous. But after two years, Turner embarked on a journey to find his future, both in life and love. What Turner discovered shocked him. After tentative steps into the shallow dating waters, he was quickly immersed in a deep ocean filled with unexpected riptides and crosscurrents within a digital-dating universe that didn’t exist when he last dated decades earlier. In three years, he met fifty-four single, middle-aged women who took him to a totally different world—Venus. It was a journey—a journey that’s, well … complicated.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.50 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Grant's memoir engages with his willingness to be open and honest about his dating experiences in the digital age.

Prose: Grant's prose is conversational, honest, and expressive. The sections featuring internal voices/personalities are somewhat out of place and lessen the impact of the author's emotional journey.

Originality: Works of nonfiction books about dating and romance are plentiful, yet Grant infuses his with a refreshing candor about dating later in life. At times the tone shifts too quickly due to a humorous literary device, but overall the pace and tone are well executed.

Character/Execution: Readers who similarly find themselves in the dating pool in middle age will find much to value in Grant's account. Characterizations are somewhat uneven in nature; while some individuals fully emerge, others come across as caricatures. 

Date Submitted: January 08, 2023