WHAT TO DO BETWEEN BIRTH AND DEATH by Charles Spezzano

WHAT TO DO BETWEEN BIRTH AND DEATH

The Art of Growing Up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A cheery, supportive tonic for those who face life's dilemmas feeling that ``an adult would know how to handle this.'' Its uncluttered perspective, with a focus on why decisions matter so much, is a fine choice for garden-variety neurotics. San Francisco psychologist Spezzano offers an unusually accessible succession of short chapters on everyday issues--how to do what you say you'll do; how attachments work; ``The Me I Don't Want to Be,'' etc. Each provides concise, uncomplicated insights that are nearly jargon-free: ``Decisions mean doing it when you don't know''; ``live the life you have''; etc. He calls on Harry Stack Sullivan's image of a romantic relationship as a tennis game, counseling that ``to keep the volley going...the other person must be able to return what we hit,'' and he looks at the place of work in adult life with the same user-friendly outlook. Altogether, Spezzano covers a great deal of ground, most prominently that of relationships with the usual circle of loved ones; he accepts gender differences but does not emphasize them; and he only incidentally touches upon how therapy works and the paradox of modern professionals--the resistance to change ``among even those experts who help people change.'' In conclusion, he finds that ``an adulthood'' ``is a decision...[that] costs you everything else...the transcendent specialness of childhood and the unlimited possibility of adolescence, as well as all the other adulthoods you might have had.'' Wise words, delivered on the upbeat.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1992
ISBN: 0-688-10399-5
Page count: 130pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1992