STARTING: Early, Anew, Over, and Late by Helen Yglesias

STARTING: Early, Anew, Over, and Late

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Yglesias wrote How She Died, a shattering first novel, at age 54, after nearly 40 years of dull jobs and unadmitted ambitions. Here she explores her own motivations for change and those of others, including son Rafael (who published at 17), with earnestness and mild analysis. At best, she demonstrates how small, often undiscovered dissatisfactions can snowball into something substantial, with no flash-of-lightning inspirations or long-term vision in mind. There's high school graduate Barbara, diddling around in Maine as a wary wife and part-time domestic, who stumbles into construction work as a better way--no Liberation goals whatsoever. Or Jack the professor who leaves academe to try his own business. Or Mabel who started a singles group after her husband died. Yglesias' own story, the first and longest, is the most interesting of the lot; of the others, many seem to be friends or neighbors (like Helen and Scott Nearing) who also found what they wanted partly by chance; by the time she gets to Grandma Moses, Mother Jones, and Arthur Rubinstein, one tires of the issue. Yglesias still writes better and more thoughtfully than most of the people investigating life cycle changes, but the subject seems worn.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1978
Publisher: Rawson, Wade--dist. by Atheneum