Reflections on a New Life
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A middle-aged woman who moved to Vermont to begin a new life pens an earnest, well-crafted celebration of the discovery of love, self-knowledge, and meaning.

Maloy’s well-intentioned account of a life transformed by love and faith is often an enervating exercise in conventional self-regard; the disappointments of her life are not so different from those of millions of men and women. This is not a dramatic tale of raging passions and horrible hurts but rather a familiar record, conventionally perceived, of the steady drip of the usual blows that leach hope from hearts. Maloy did not get on well with her religion-obsessed mother, and her father remained a distant figure. She married young, divorced, then married another unsuitable man and grew to hate her writing job. By the time she reached her 50s in Pittsburgh, her only joy was her young son Adam, her only hope the God her Quaker said her resided in each individual as a transforming light. But her life changed miraculously one Sunday in 1996 when, after attending a Quaker Meeting, she saw a house and realized she wanted to live there with Adam. Now her life suddenly had purpose. Confident of God’s presence in her life and the fitness of her past as prelude to this moment, she divorced her husband, bought the house, and then met Alan on the Internet. An e-mail courtship led to marriage and life in Vermont, a place Maloy had always considered her true home. Now at peace and braced by faith, she looks back from the perspective of the year beginning in the summer of 1998—as she, Alan, and Adam move into the house—on her past, her adjustments to her marriage, her Quaker faith and pacifist beliefs, and the unfolding seasons.

One of those interior travelogues that, like home movies, are not terribly compelling for outsiders.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-58243-145-0
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Counterpoint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2001