I have enjoyed several of author Anna Quindlen's novels. She wrote One True Thing which is one of my all time favorite books. She also wrote another very compelling novel entitled Black and Blue. She was a columnist for the NY Times and has written several collections of essays, all of which I have read. I was delighted to discover that she was coming out with a memoir and was on the pre-order list for Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake.
The book is really a collection of essays, each of which could stand on its own, about what it means to be in the second half of life. Quindlen tackles many of the expected issues: marriage, girlfriends, acquisition of stuff, bodies, parenting, changing perspectives, and more. Although I admire her writing style, I found the book somewhat disappointing. For one thing, it seemed repetitious. It dragged at places and it seemed as if she was putting words on the page just to add to the page number. The second criticism is my own bias but Quindlen is a woman of privilege. She was raised in a wealthy family and she is a woman of personal wealth now. I have a tough time relating to her life of relative ease. Additionally, Quindlen is a reporter and her book reads like a newspaper article. It lacks humanity and warmth and that actually surprised me. So, I got this just released book on Wednesday, finished it by today, and sold it back on Amazon already. Off in the mail it goes tomorrow. It will be leaving me with a few things about which to think and write but without much misgiving.
One word review: Meh