There Are No Grown-ups
The best-selling author of Bringing Up Bebe investigates life in her forties, and wonders whether her mind will ever catch up with her face.When Pamela Druckerman turns 40, waiters start calling her "Madame," and she detects a disturbing new message in mens' gazes: I would sleep with her, but only if doing so required no effort whatsoever.Yet forty isn't even technically middle-aged anymore. And after a lifetime of being clueless, Druckerman can finally grasp the subtext of conversations, maintain (somewhat) healthy relationships and spot narcissists before they ruin her life.What are the modern forties, and what do we know once we reach them? What makes someone a "grown-up" anyway? And why didn't anyone warn us that we'd get cellulite on our arms? Part frank memoir, part hilarious investigation of daily life, There Are No Grown-Ups diagnoses the in-between decade when...- Everyone you meet looks a little bit familiar. - You're matter-of-fact about chin hair. - You can no longer wear anything ironically.- There's at least one sport your doctor forbids you to play. - You become impatient while scrolling down to your year of birth. - Your parents have stopped trying to change you.- You don't want to be with the cool people anymore; you want to be with your people. - You realize that everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently. - You know that it's ok if you don't like jazz.Internationally best-selling author and New York Times contributor Pamela Druckerman leads us on a quest for wisdom, self-knowledge and the right pair of pants. A witty dispatch from the front lines of the forties, There Are No Grown-ups is a (midlife) coming-of-age story, and a book for anyone trying to find their place in the world.

There Are No Grown-ups Details

TitleThere Are No Grown-ups
Author
ReleaseMay 29th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Press
ISBN-139781594206375
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Humor, Biography Memoir, Biography

There Are No Grown-ups Review

  • Sonja Arlow
    January 1, 1970
    As I am 42 I am at the beginning of this decade that the author wanted to make sense of. To be honest I have no idea why I picked this up. I don’t feel as if I am going through a mid-life crisis, I don’t break out in a sweat when someone asks me my age and I don’t have this uncontrollable urge to go bungee jumping or sky diving (I did all that in my 30s)Each chapter ends with “You know you are in your 40s when….” Followed by little gems in bullet point format. These sections really made me laugh As I am 42 I am at the beginning of this decade that the author wanted to make sense of. To be honest I have no idea why I picked this up. I don’t feel as if I am going through a mid-life crisis, I don’t break out in a sweat when someone asks me my age and I don’t have this uncontrollable urge to go bungee jumping or sky diving (I did all that in my 30s)Each chapter ends with “You know you are in your 40s when….” Followed by little gems in bullet point format. These sections really made me laugh and made the book worth the read.The author is very relatable and has a style of writing that feels as if you are having a chat with a friend.I found the sections dealing with her everyday life much more enjoyable than the sections where she investigates the phenomena of the “Mind life Crisis”. More loosely related stories than memoir this was a nice read. Not exceptional, not boring just nice.This could perhaps make a thoughtful gift for a woman of a certain age that is a bit panicked at the prospect of turning 40.
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  • Rebecca Foster
    January 1, 1970
    Druckerman’s French Children Don’t Throw Food (U.S. title: Bringing Up Bébé) was a surprise hit with me in 2012, the sort of wide-ranging, witty book anyone can enjoy, parent or no. Earlier this year I read her first book, Lust in Translation, and was disappointed that it lacked a personal component; it read like pure journalistic investigation, and was weaker for that. Here she’s back with what she does best: slightly neurotic reflections on her expatriate life in Paris and the search for the r Druckerman’s French Children Don’t Throw Food (U.S. title: Bringing Up Bébé) was a surprise hit with me in 2012, the sort of wide-ranging, witty book anyone can enjoy, parent or no. Earlier this year I read her first book, Lust in Translation, and was disappointed that it lacked a personal component; it read like pure journalistic investigation, and was weaker for that. Here she’s back with what she does best: slightly neurotic reflections on her expatriate life in Paris and the search for the right way to do things, whether that’s choosing a flattering outfit, making lasting friendships, or coming across as an expert when actually you feel like a fraud.In particular, the focus is on one’s forties and all the physical and emotional changes that come in that decade of “middle-age shock.” Each chapter is given a “How to” title, from “How to Find Your Calling” to “How to Be a Femme Libre,” and ends with a brief “You know you’re in your 40s when…” section of witty-but-true quips. Druckerman first knew she was getting older when she walked into cafés and heard “Bonjour, madame” instead of “Bonjour, mademoiselle.”Now, I’ve not yet hit my forties, but I’m staring down the barrel of 35, and a lot of this still hit home for me, especially the feeling of being a kid in disguise and wondering when I’m ever going to have the wisdom that would make me feel like a grown-up; I have no children, have never owned a home or a car, and despite the advantages of my freelance lifestyle still have the suspicion that I’ve never had a ‘proper career’ and never will.I had no idea that Druckerman had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma just as she handed in the manuscript for her parenting book. So while her publishers were most concerned about the fallout of her essay about arranging a ménage à trois for her husband’s fortieth birthday, she was just worried about staying alive for her three kids.Druckerman blends her own experience with some unthreatening popular science and statistics. She quotes researchers on the midlife crisis and on what constitutes wisdom; she also draws on Jung’s theory about the two halves of life: the first is ruled by the ego and the second is guided by our true self (a framework applied to spiritual development in Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward).The book is somewhat lacking in focus – it’s really more of a set of loosely related essays than it is a memoir – but if you think of the whole thing as a self-investigation it basically hangs together. “I’ve accepted that whatever my true story is, it’s enough,” Druckerman writes, and these pieces of true story add up to a witty and reassuring work for frustrated would-be ‘grown-ups’ of any age.(Releases May 29th.)
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  • Cristy Jimenez-Shawcroft
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't put this book down. Entertaining, quick read. I like how the author writes; she is completely honest and very reflective, telling about everything from ménage à trois she planned for her husband's 40th birthday to her bout with cancer to how she became a journalist to figure out what is going on (she had felt clueless about aspects of the world around her previously, in part due to her parents sugar-coating everything when she was growing up). It reads like various short stories to cr I couldn't put this book down. Entertaining, quick read. I like how the author writes; she is completely honest and very reflective, telling about everything from ménage à trois she planned for her husband's 40th birthday to her bout with cancer to how she became a journalist to figure out what is going on (she had felt clueless about aspects of the world around her previously, in part due to her parents sugar-coating everything when she was growing up). It reads like various short stories to create a memoir that has a lot of insights and universal truths for everyone. I definitely recommend it.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    2.5/5This book is written by an American expatriate who lives in France. It essentially compares and contrasts how life lessons experienced by adults in their 40s / midlife differs between Americans and the French. Although it is partially a biography, which livens it up a bit, I found it rather dry.
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  • Mehrsa
    January 1, 1970
    This was exactly the book I needed right now. Though I don't share all of Druckerman's concerns about aging, she's very likable and insightful. The book is part memoir, part self-help, and part just chatting with a friend. It's a fun and quick read
  • Lindsay Nixon
    January 1, 1970
    It’s possible that I’m the wrong demographic... I loved her book on French parenting, not only because it was insightful, fascinating, and smart, but because it was funny, and captivating. I loved her personal memoir bits mixed into the info but this book is dreadful and p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y boring. I’m not in my 40s, so perhaps that’s the problem, though I’ve read and loved novels and memoirs about / by women in their 40/50/60s and connected to it... I’m seeking a refund, it’s that lousy. The only It’s possible that I’m the wrong demographic... I loved her book on French parenting, not only because it was insightful, fascinating, and smart, but because it was funny, and captivating. I loved her personal memoir bits mixed into the info but this book is dreadful and p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y boring. I’m not in my 40s, so perhaps that’s the problem, though I’ve read and loved novels and memoirs about / by women in their 40/50/60s and connected to it... I’m seeking a refund, it’s that lousy. The only reason I'm giving this 2-stars instead of 1 is because it is well organized (a rarity in memoirs these days) and for the carefully included factual evidence/content.
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  • Merry Miller moon
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Goodreads for the free ARC of this book. The author is giving advice/life lessons on how to deal with life when you reach your forties, which is so appropriate for me, since I am a forty something. In one chapter, she describes how she made her husband's fantasy come true for this birthday-having a threesome, with another woman. Kudos to you, Pamela Druckerman! for not only doing this, but writing about it so bluntly. Pretty amazing since her previous book was a 'how to parenting' b Thank you to Goodreads for the free ARC of this book. The author is giving advice/life lessons on how to deal with life when you reach your forties, which is so appropriate for me, since I am a forty something. In one chapter, she describes how she made her husband's fantasy come true for this birthday-having a threesome, with another woman. Kudos to you, Pamela Druckerman! for not only doing this, but writing about it so bluntly. Pretty amazing since her previous book was a 'how to parenting' book about the differences between raising children in the United States and France, where the author lives with her British born husband and their children. The very next chapter is more somber, she describes getting diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. WOW! I cannot even imagine! You are one strong woman, Pamela! I'm so glad that you have pulled through and continue to thrive. Each chapter is wrapped up with a 'You know you are in your forties when....'-and they are so relateable that they are funny! I learned the following by reading this book, 'Nunchi', which means eye measure in Korean, is the ability to pick up on things well. She says that we have no similar word for this in English. Apparently all other nationalities of people pick up on things far better than we do as Americans. Very interesting. Good book.
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  • Janssen
    January 1, 1970
    It wasn’t as good or as fun as Bringing Up Bebe (review here: https://everyday-reading.com/bringing...) but still interesting and entertaining with some very insightful parts. It felt somewhat uneven to me, though.
  • Johnette
    January 1, 1970
    I tried to slog through this book but I couldn't. I just couldn't. It seemed like a lot of random thoughts that didn't go anywhere, except for the part about the threesome. That was interesting. I hate to give a bad review because I'm sure there's a piece of the author's heart in every book but this book bored me to tears. I'm still trying to figure out the premise exactly. It's not a how to manual for aging women. I just didn't get it. There are plenty of good reviews so it must be gettable. Ma I tried to slog through this book but I couldn't. I just couldn't. It seemed like a lot of random thoughts that didn't go anywhere, except for the part about the threesome. That was interesting. I hate to give a bad review because I'm sure there's a piece of the author's heart in every book but this book bored me to tears. I'm still trying to figure out the premise exactly. It's not a how to manual for aging women. I just didn't get it. There are plenty of good reviews so it must be gettable. Maybe I'm too grownup for it or not grownup enough.
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  • Christiner_Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Penguin for providing an advance reading copy, won via a GoodReads giveaway. (Thanks also to GoodReads!) Druckerman has a great voice, which makes for an easy read - conversational, though she mixes in facts and quotations. I was predisposed to like this book, as the premise hit a note with me. (I've come to believe no one knows what they're doing.) It was enjoyable, and I particularly liked some parts, but it felt sort of surface-level... I wanted the author to delve a bit deeper t Thank you to Penguin for providing an advance reading copy, won via a GoodReads giveaway. (Thanks also to GoodReads!) Druckerman has a great voice, which makes for an easy read - conversational, though she mixes in facts and quotations. I was predisposed to like this book, as the premise hit a note with me. (I've come to believe no one knows what they're doing.) It was enjoyable, and I particularly liked some parts, but it felt sort of surface-level... I wanted the author to delve a bit deeper throughout. (Incidentally, the focus on the 40s felt sort of contrived to me - seemed like so many of the themes related to being a well-adjusted, mature adult more so than being 40something.)I'd recommend this as a beach read or perhaps a good plane book. Not going to change your life, but entertaining enough to be worth a couple hours of your time.
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  • Chris devine
    January 1, 1970
    So, I'm definitely not the intended audience for this book, but it sounded interesting so I gave it a shot. This book seems to be geared towards rich older women, who have problems with shopping and packed schedules full of lunches with other rich women. I don't know this woman, but I just hate her for some reason. She thinks of herself as an expert in both french and american ways of life, but she doesn't seem to know that the vast majority of people in both those countries live a vastly differ So, I'm definitely not the intended audience for this book, but it sounded interesting so I gave it a shot. This book seems to be geared towards rich older women, who have problems with shopping and packed schedules full of lunches with other rich women. I don't know this woman, but I just hate her for some reason. She thinks of herself as an expert in both french and american ways of life, but she doesn't seem to know that the vast majority of people in both those countries live a vastly different life then she does. End rant.I won this from a goodreads giveaway.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Do you like to read about self involved and self obsessed average looking 40year old women ? This is you book. Ugh -why did I waste precious time of my own 40 year old life to read this drivel? Gah! Go for it if you have a long flight and an empty brain. Self centered author who-oh how awful-lives in Paris, with a seemingly selfish husband. Rants annoyingly about her first world 40 year old probs.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    The author realizes she's lost her 'young face' when waiters in Paris start calling her madame rather than mademoiselle.Good thing: I can relate to this book. I'm in my late forties and there were several times while I read this that I thought "Yes, THAT". It was interesting to see this through the lens of how French women differ from the U.S. (the author is living in Paris), ranging from fashion, expectations for aging, and social connections. Bad thing: The bits including Jung dragged a bit fo The author realizes she's lost her 'young face' when waiters in Paris start calling her madame rather than mademoiselle.Good thing: I can relate to this book. I'm in my late forties and there were several times while I read this that I thought "Yes, THAT". It was interesting to see this through the lens of how French women differ from the U.S. (the author is living in Paris), ranging from fashion, expectations for aging, and social connections. Bad thing: The bits including Jung dragged a bit for me. I categorized this as a memoir but it's really a mash-up of personal stories/observations and some journalistic bits.I think the author is a couple of years younger than me. I find myself wishing she was a bit older so she could go in front of me and let me know what's coming next in my fifties! I've thought about reading her other book "Bringing up Bebe" (about parenting in France) and my enjoyment of "There Are No Grown-ups" has pushed me to put it on my TBR list.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book, as I did Bringing up Bebe. Pamela has an excellent sense of humor and it shines through in this book. Although I'm probably 15 years older than she, it was still quite interesting to read her thoughts and research.
  • Josh Puetz
    January 1, 1970
    Meh: exceedingly Ave age. Started out strong with some interesting insights into aging, but quickly became a memoir of the author’s extremely niche experiences. Are you a middle aged white woman expat living in Paris? Then this is book for you! If you liked Bringing up Bebe this is a fun follow up, otherwise skip it.
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  • Alexa Kozlov
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book at a Goodreads giveaway. I'm in my 20s but I really enjoyed this book. I loved the writing. The humorous portions actually made me laugh out loud. Other portions were really heartfelt. I recommend it. It is an easy and interesting read. I can already think of a few girlfriends who would love to read this next.
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  • Marla
    January 1, 1970
    There are funny points in this book and times I could relate. Interesting book about what it's like when you hit your 40s.
  • Jaclyn
    January 1, 1970
    I picked up this book because I read an excerpt published in the New York Times and was totally hooked. I resonate with the idea of looking around and expecting what I call "certifiable adults" to enter a room, only to realize that my peers and I are the adults. Druckerman's book focuses more on being in your 40s, but I, as a 30-something, still found her thoughts and anecdotes relatable. That said, I don't think Pamela and I are meant to be future BFFs who are going to go do dinner while our hu I picked up this book because I read an excerpt published in the New York Times and was totally hooked. I resonate with the idea of looking around and expecting what I call "certifiable adults" to enter a room, only to realize that my peers and I are the adults. Druckerman's book focuses more on being in your 40s, but I, as a 30-something, still found her thoughts and anecdotes relatable. That said, I don't think Pamela and I are meant to be future BFFs who are going to go do dinner while our husbands are out at a basketball game. Our world views are wildly different on some subjects, and so a few of her chapters that are meant to be progressive, especially the ones on sexuality and her husband's birthday, read as juvenile or too one-sided. All that said, this is probably a 2.5, but it was a perfect escape as I wrapped up the school year. I cannot recommend it to my more conservative of friends. If you liked her book on French parenting ideas (I didn't realize this was the same woman until part way through the book because I haven't read that one yet), then you will fall right back into her narrative style. If you're turning 40 this year, it might be an ideal read, but Nora Ephron's "I Feel Bad About My Neck" is more my style. Happy reading!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This had some wonderful snippets of wisdom on facing middle age (which: gulp, I guess I am). I actively skipped the parenting chapters and clutched my pearls a bit during the threesome encounter, although I appreciate the factual recounting (I'm trying to be positive). Regardless, the chapter on fashion, wisdom, and how to say no were particularly insightful. I saved my notes from the wisdom chapter and hopefully the fashion one is another positive signpost in my struggle to be OK with where I a This had some wonderful snippets of wisdom on facing middle age (which: gulp, I guess I am). I actively skipped the parenting chapters and clutched my pearls a bit during the threesome encounter, although I appreciate the factual recounting (I'm trying to be positive). Regardless, the chapter on fashion, wisdom, and how to say no were particularly insightful. I saved my notes from the wisdom chapter and hopefully the fashion one is another positive signpost in my struggle to be OK with where I am.
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  • Jen Ifer's Inklings
    January 1, 1970
    Meh. First, this was not what I thought the book was going to be. It’s a nonfiction, memoir type book. I was expecting a contemporary fiction. Second, I felt very disconnected from the book. I’m just starting my 40s and I am already past almost all the stages covered in this book. Now, on my 30s I probably would have related way more. Finally, it just wasn’t all that. It reads quickly, but it’s hard to find reasons to pick the book up. If it wasn’t a book club book that I had picked out, I’d pro Meh. First, this was not what I thought the book was going to be. It’s a nonfiction, memoir type book. I was expecting a contemporary fiction. Second, I felt very disconnected from the book. I’m just starting my 40s and I am already past almost all the stages covered in this book. Now, on my 30s I probably would have related way more. Finally, it just wasn’t all that. It reads quickly, but it’s hard to find reasons to pick the book up. If it wasn’t a book club book that I had picked out, I’d probably have just DNF’d it a few chapters in.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    There were some moments in this book that did make me laugh out loud, as Pamela Druckerman explores what it means to be in your forties, and how it maybe finally makes you a grownup. Living in France, she finds that she is now getting ignored by men and waiters address her as Madame. I know it is mainly tongue in cheek, and after a brush with serious illness she is able to address being older without being too whiny. I did find that I wanted to find out what she thought about turning 50, but I w There were some moments in this book that did make me laugh out loud, as Pamela Druckerman explores what it means to be in your forties, and how it maybe finally makes you a grownup. Living in France, she finds that she is now getting ignored by men and waiters address her as Madame. I know it is mainly tongue in cheek, and after a brush with serious illness she is able to address being older without being too whiny. I did find that I wanted to find out what she thought about turning 50, but I will have to wait 10 years for that book, and that by then I will be older and won't care.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    This is new Bridget Jones' Diary, but for better or worse, this time it's not fiction but a real thing. Don't expect it to be about age or aging, it's about one thing only - the author. You will learn all about her - from childhood to ancestry to all her friends and marriage issues.But if you ever wondered who are those people that write Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Marie Claire articles, now you get the idea. OK, there were some good pieces. The threesome article is funny. The cancer survival story This is new Bridget Jones' Diary, but for better or worse, this time it's not fiction but a real thing. Don't expect it to be about age or aging, it's about one thing only - the author. You will learn all about her - from childhood to ancestry to all her friends and marriage issues.But if you ever wondered who are those people that write Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Marie Claire articles, now you get the idea. OK, there were some good pieces. The threesome article is funny. The cancer survival story (and how little it seemed to affect author's personality) was interesting and optimistic in an original way. But how many times can you write about how stupid you are and make it look funny?
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  • Doris
    January 1, 1970
    I felt like I could be a kindred spirits with Pamela. This book perfectly describes many of my emotions during this middle age time well except for the chapter on threesomes. Having said that I don't think this book is relatable to those in their 20s and 30s, which is why the low good reads ratings. Highly enjoyable quick read.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Not worth getting library fines for. This one felt more memoir than topical point of view. These kind of books should be a quick read and I could just not get into it.
  • Bonnie
    January 1, 1970
    The first half of this is hilarious and easy to read, but she seems to lose momentum towards the end, and it starts to read like a self help book about 3/4 of the way through. It regains some of the humor in the final chapters.
  • Flora
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure I'd read this book again but it offered some hours of amusement. Druckerman shares relatable and diverting stories about her life, especially about growing into a middle-aged woman. At certain points, she is effortlessly humourous, when at others, she comes across as trying really hard to be funny. The former suits her and the book very well, the latter was a bit disappointing.Yet, I enjoyed to read her take on aging and (even as someone in her 20s) I could relate to certain experie I'm not sure I'd read this book again but it offered some hours of amusement. Druckerman shares relatable and diverting stories about her life, especially about growing into a middle-aged woman. At certain points, she is effortlessly humourous, when at others, she comes across as trying really hard to be funny. The former suits her and the book very well, the latter was a bit disappointing.Yet, I enjoyed to read her take on aging and (even as someone in her 20s) I could relate to certain experiences she revealed. I'm also convinced that her husband is a really interesting person, and I'm curious about how he would narrate some of the happenings we could learn about in his wife's interpretation.One minor mistake that really bothered me was misspelling the name of Jane Austen as "Austin," and I think this spelling error might make other JA fans nervous, too.
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  • Reese
    January 1, 1970
    The book started out okay, though incredibly shallow, that earned it one full star. Then it turned into something that seemed like the author had researched dozens of articles and dumped them all into a book and tried to tie them together by claiming they had something to do with age. There's also way too many grammatical errors to ignore. Oh, and if someone is constantly telling you they are not a narcissist, they're a narcissist.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Goodreads First ReadsAs a woman in my early forties it resonated.Interesting observations.
  • Aria
    January 1, 1970
    ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---- This was a fair read. Not too heavy. Didn't take too long. I only found myself drifting off a couple of times. I set it down & came back to it in a couple of hours & all was well again. More than a few accurate insights about being in one's forties. I can't say that I came away actually remembering much of what I'd read. That could either be a pro or a con, depending on what you are after in your reading. Overall, I ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---- This was a fair read. Not too heavy. Didn't take too long. I only found myself drifting off a couple of times. I set it down & came back to it in a couple of hours & all was well again. More than a few accurate insights about being in one's forties. I can't say that I came away actually remembering much of what I'd read. That could either be a pro or a con, depending on what you are after in your reading. Overall, I found the experience of finding oneself in this age group to have been accurately related. The author has both a French & American perspective on middle-aged femaleness, the contrasts of which I found to be fairly interesting. (Although I do anticipate some readers may not appreciate that to which they can not directly relate.) The beginning starts off w/ background history on how the author grew up, & how she came to be in France. It is also the slowest part of the book. That information turns out to be necessary, however, particularly as one approaches the end of the material. I did enjoy the few lists lessons gathered from life experiences that appear in a couple of the later chapters, as well as the explanation of nunchi, & how it is meant to be utilized. For someone, particularly female someones, approaching this stage of living, I feel the book would be as good a place to start as any on getting an idea of how view this newly-turned corner of life. For savvy younger people, I also think there is information in here about life in general that would be beneficial to glean early on, although it still stands that there is no substitute for experience, & there's not going to be any getting around that. (If only.) As it stands, I will pass this book on to another, & really, that's evidence of it being a fair recommendation.
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Not at all what I expected. More interesting, more wisdom, more sanity.
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