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A funny, frank, and fearless memoir.

A successful journalist’s account of how she came to terms with being a single woman over 40.

Feisty and independent, MacNicol (co-editor: The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women, 2014) had “taken herself from waitress to well-paid writer to business owner” in the span of 20 years. Now she was a glamorous Manhattanite with a wide circle of friends and access to famous and accomplished people. Yet as she neared 40, she realized she lacked two things society deemed necessary for female success: a man and a baby. In this sharp, intimate memoir, the author chronicles the eventful years following the 40th birthday that found her unattached and unsure about her path forward. Men walked in and out of her real and online lives as she traveled to offbeat locations for stories. While she still saw the women friends she had come to know during her 20s, responsibilities to partners, husbands, and children inevitably loosened ties. A close relationship to her married sister allowed her to witness firsthand the vagaries of matrimony and the rigors of parenting, while her housewife mother increasingly came to symbolize the life MacNicol “actively unwanted.” The contrast between the outcomes of her mother’s lifestyle and her own became especially clear as she witnessed her mother’s decline into dementia. The author became painfully aware that the choice to forge a life built around family was no safeguard to “being left alone” in the end and that, ultimately, “life was not a savings plan, accrued now for enjoyment later.” Moving through the years without a ready-made blueprint was a struggle, but one that had been “terrifying, and then exhausting, and then delightful.” Unapologetic in her embrace of the ups and downs of the improvised solo life, MacNicol offers a refreshing view of the possibilities—and pitfalls—personal freedom can offer modern women.

A funny, frank, and fearless memoir.

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6313-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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