The title grabbed me and then I heard Anna Quindlen on NPR talking about her memoir. I related to her feelings on the Catholic Church’s hierarchy and how they are leading us Catholics in the wrong direction and not ruling by example. She also feels, as a woman that we are disenfranchised from the Church. Men and only men run it. I loved this part of the book. She eloquently lays it on the line.
As the title suggests, she is celebrating her age (She is in her 50’s) and the wisdom that comes with it. I think the disconnect I felt with the rest of the book has to do with her being very retrospective (isn’t that what a memoir is suppose to be?) and analyzing herself at different ages and times of her life. I don’t think I was unaware of myself as a young person and have finally found myself now. I don’t think I will every fully find myself which is a good thing. I’m not that deep. This doesn’t sound flattering. Quindlen is articulate in explaining myself. I am not. I am laughing at this.
Quindlen is a good writer. I’m sure 80% of the women (and probably men too) in their 40’s and 50’s can fully relate to what she is writing about. She is solid. At the end of the book she writes, “sometimes a single moment can mark the dividing line between who you are and who you never wanted to be.” She was referring to an elderly friend who mentioned that once you break a hip when you’re older, you’re finished. This has a twofold meaning. Sometimes the moment can be out of your control, such as breaking a hip and confining a vibrant person to a home. It can also be a bad choice, a betrayal or saying something you don’t mean, but it comes out anyway. Any of these things can change the course of someone’s life and possibly define it.