NOTHING TO FALL BACK ON by Betsy Carter

NOTHING TO FALL BACK ON

The Life and Times of a Perpetual Optimist
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Told with grace and humor, a life story that gives new meaning to the word resilience, from an ambitious and successful woman whose travails once seemed unending.

Presently the editor of AARP's My Generation magazine, Carter boasts a career history most journalists can only fantasize about. Starting with Air and Water News, she moved on to Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, and Esquire (of which she became editorial director), then launched her own magazine, New York Woman. She had a thoughtful and loving husband, an apartment in Manhattan, and a house in upstate New York. But a car spinout when they were on vacation in Nova Scotia was followed by a series of disasters. A taxi accident fractured her jaw, knocked out most of her teeth, and shredded her lip; her face had to be reconstructed. In the middle of launching New York Woman, she discovered her husband was gay. Not long after that, the magazine was sold, her upstate house burned down, she underwent treatment with a psychotherapist, who ultimately recommended exorcism, and she began to suffer from asthma. Her mother developed a brain tumor, and a promising affair ended. Nevertheless, Carter met and married a man who appeared to be a soulmate. A week after their wedding and the celebration of New York Woman’s fifth anniversary, she was told the magazine would fold. Then came the diagnosis of malignant breast cancer requiring immediate surgery. Carter got through the surgery and the subsequent chemotherapy; ten years later, she has launched a new magazine and remains happily with her second husband. Chapters about her successes and woes are interspersed with sections on growing up Jewish in predominantly Christian Florida and attending college in Michigan.

No psychic chicken soup here, but a chronology of life's roller coaster that may intrigue those on the same crooked track.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2002
ISBN: 0-7868-6761-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002




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