JENNY WALTON'S PACKING FOR A WOMAN'S JOURNEY by Nancy Lindemeyer

JENNY WALTON'S PACKING FOR A WOMAN'S JOURNEY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this small book, Lindemeyer, editor in chief of Victoria magazine and the author of its “Jenny Walton” columns, celebrates all that has been “good, kind, graceful, generous, and beautiful” in her life, in hopes that her readers will find “pride in a woman’s journey.” Lindemeyer’s early life was not without its sorrows. Her mother died when the author was very young, and she was raised by her grandmother. Indeed, this book is as much about Lindemeyer’s grandmother’s life as her own. The spacious and populated midwestern home she recalls so meticulously in these pages was filled with pleasing sounds and aromas, with homely, charming conversations, and with real affection. It was here that the wisdom that best characterizes Victoria magazine took root. Indeed, Lindemeyer traces back to her grandmother essential life lessons concerning hard work, togetherness, morality, and the nature of real accomplishment. If home is the “citadel of family pride,” then making it beautiful is a matter of importance. For every sorrow, Lindemeyer finds solace in her homey possessions, the motifs “on my linens—birds, butterflies, flowers,” remembering “with pleasure calm, cool yesterdays in this special home.” She finds enormous meaning in the “things” of life, but has her eye all along on the power of love, developed here in anecdotes about her friends and family members. Lindemeyer explains that her magazine is dedicated to that part of women’s lives that has been “ignored as their energies . . . drove them into perfecting the roles they had chosen.” Hers is a book about contentment, continuity, and accomplishment, wrapped in homespun. As a memoir, however, it fails to explain the magnitude of the author’s own professional accomplishment. Perhaps this volume allows us to believe that such accomplishments are not always the result of the killer instinct, but of a sound and steady belief in the goodness of honest simplicity. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-517-70662-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1998