EndNotes

Now it all makes sense…

Carol Willette’s 8th birthday party in November 1962. She’s in front of the cake with her hand on her cheek. Cleda Sweetland is on the left side of the photo with the bow in her hair and a watch on her wrist.
Carol Willette’s 8th birthday party in November 1962. She’s in front of the cake with her hand on her cheek. Cleda Sweetland is on the left side of the photo with the bow in her hair and a watch on her wrist.

I always put the release date in my calendar for new books by my favorite writers. On Tuesday writer Anna Quindlen’s new book, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, hit the stores.  I had to be at work before the book store opens (I have to have the paper version of a favorite author, no e-book will do), but I managed to have the book in my hands by 3:15 p.m.

 I sigh a lot when I read words I love…I have been sighing for 48 hours now. 

Quindlen’s memoir is a journal of a generation of women - and men - who thought we were so unique, but have been shaped and formed by the time zone we landed in: the Boomer years. And we share more viewpoints, cultural memories and mirrored reflections than we may care to admit. But admitting the truth doesn’t bother us so much these days. The truth is easy next to the energy those charades of yesteryear required. 

Quindlen takes the reader through the myths of young adulthood that can only be debunked through living into the truth. No sage guide will protect one from the necessary pain, laughter, loss and enlightenment that life offers. She reveals what many women know: pantyhose were invented by a sadist and an adult daughter’s glimpse into her mother’s life evokes empathy and admiration and a few wistful longings as well as sadness. 

Mostly, Quindlen reminds the reader that the journey is worth the price of loss, uncertainty, mistakes and missteps. We are harder on ourselves than we ever should have been. How could we be wise at 20? The system isn’t set up that way. Our certainties had not been tested yet. After surviving the decades, we are kinder, less judgmental beings – now with softened hearts, we can move easily into the last decades of this amazing, unpredictable journey.

(S-R archives photo)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.





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