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LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE by Anna Quindlen

LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE

By Anna Quindlen

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6934-7
Publisher: Random House

A humorous, sage memoir from the Pulitzer winner and acclaimed novelist.

Like having an older, wiser sister or favorite aunt over for a cup of tea, Quindlen’s (Every Last One, 2010, etc.) latest book is full of the counsel and ruminations many of us wish we could learn young. The death of her mother from cancer when she was 19 had a profound effect on the author, instilling in her the certainty that "life was short, and therefore it made [her] both driven and joyful" and happy to have "the privilege of aging.” In her sincere and amusing style, the author reflects on feminism, raising her children, marriage and menopause. She muses on the perception of youth and her own changing body image—one of the "greatest gifts [for women] of growing older is trusting your own sense of yourself.” Having women friends, writes Quindlen, is important for women of all ages, for they are "what we have in addition to, or in lieu of, therapists. And when we reach a certain age, they may be who is left.” More threads on which the author meditates in this purposeful book: childbirth, gender issues, the joy of solitude, the difference between being alone and being lonely, retirement and religion. For her, "one of the greatest glories of growing older is the willingness to ask why, and getting no good answer, deciding to follow my own inclinations and desires. Asking why is the way to wisdom.”

A graceful look at growing older from a wise and accomplished writer—sure to appeal to her many fans, women over 50 and readers of Nora Ephron and similar authors.