An entertaining look at older romance that should encourage baby boomers to get out there and mingle.

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LOVE, AGAIN

THE WISDOM OF UNEXPECTED ROMANCE

How and why older couples have searched for and found new loves.

Using details from her own late-in-life love story and those of 14 other couples, Pell (We Used to Own the Bronx: Memories of a Former Debutante, 2010) explores why couples in their 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s have reached out and found new companionship and romance. Pell poses a series of questions that are answered in revolving snippets from each couple’s perspective; the responses help explain why the graying population of America is embracing another chance at happiness. Whether they’ve met online, where the fastest growing dating demographic is individuals over the age of 60, through mutual friends, or rekindled an old love interest from high school, these couples have all decided that the joy, companionship and physical contact are benefits that outweigh any negatives. Many found their adult children were not supportive at first, as they didn’t understand the need for company after successful relationships of 40-50 years or more. Other couples faced serious health issues that cut short their time together, but all agreed none would skip the experience even if they knew the outcome in advance. Some overcame the dilemma of living in separate houses, filled with years of accumulated stuff, or of living in two different parts of the country. “What has astonished me is the intensity and passion that old people can experience,” writes Pell, “as well as the depth, feeling, and resourcefulness in working out ways of relating, whether living together or apart, married or unmarried….I know from my own experience that people once written off as too old for romance—most notably by family—can transcend such stereotypes and engage in mad love affairs.” Readers old and young can take heart knowing that love doesn’t fade just because one grows old.

An entertaining look at older romance that should encourage baby boomers to get out there and mingle.

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0804176460

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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