THE FIRST YEAR by John Mosedale


A Retirement Journal
Email this review


 Time flies when you're having fun: that's the message of these congenial essays on retirement by Mosedale (The Men Who Invented Broadway, 1980, etc.). Mosedale is a midwestern journalist who came to N.Y.C. and made it. But even though he loved his high-pressure job as a writer for the CBS Evening News, he followed through with his life-plan, which included retirement at age 65 in order to ``do something else.'' When he retired, the ``something else'' was still essentially unformed, though it came to include writing this book; sitting ``around the apartment and watch[ing]'' his wife (who teaches learning-disabled children in their home); nurturing his interests in Shakespeare, opera, and football; and finally organizing his and his wife's book collection. Mosedale also walked every day, enjoyed the birth of his first grandchild, and spent the summer on an island in Minnesota. And he was happy, with no regrets and no itch to get back in harness. These essays mirror that contentment: Reflections on his present days include thoughts on renewing an old friendship; on an AIDS controversy; on the finances of retirement (not important after the fact, Mosedale says, but, then, he's healthy, well provided for, and has lived in the same rent-controlled apartment for 30 years); on finding a long-sought volume of Trollope. Other pieces deal with his past: a battle with alcoholism; his friendship with the late Harry Reasoner; life with two older sisters. At the heart of the book stands his wife, Betty, who's surely what used to be called a ``sainted woman.'' Throughout, commentary and autobiography mingle in graceful, pleasing prose--in fact, a little dissonance might have added more texture to the elegant flow of words. A companionable volume, full of reassurance that family, friends, and a lively intellect can smooth the transition to retirement--to what Mosedale calls ``the sudden silence after the roar of work.''

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1993
ISBN: 0-517-58641-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993