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EVERYTHING TO GAIN by Rosalynn Carter Kirkus Star


Making The Most Of The Rest Of Your Life

by Rosalynn Carter & Jimmy Carter

Pub Date: June 8th, 1987
ISBN: 1557283885
Publisher: Random House

A fascinating page-turner, as much for the down-to-earth counsel on getting on with life after a failure as for the personal revelations of the former President and First Lady. They left the White House to Ronald Reagan with what comes through here as a great deal of bitterness ("When the voters decided to change horses in midstream, not only had they rejected us but almost 51 percent of them had chosen a horse determined to run back as fast as possible in the opposite direction"). Getting back to Plains, things weren't immediately better: their finances were a mess; their house in disrepair; daughter Amy lonesome (new school chums wouldn't invite her to parties because of her Secret Service escorts); their own spirits near bottom when Rosalynn suddenly became ill. All signs were down, but as told here in a joint narrative (with individual interjections when recollections or interpretations differ), they pulled themselves through by getting involved in a host of projects--from flooring the attic to starting the Carter Center. They discovered: writing (Rosalynn writes, "My hook was number one on The New York Times best-seller list; he always had Jane Fonds's Exercise Book and Megatrends ahead of his"), volunteerism, travel, fly-fishing, carpentry, exercise, family and each other. While their Baptist faith is bedrock, it's not an intrusive factor; the Carter's sensible, sensitive awareness to the problems of maturity and their energetic yet workable solutions predominate--they're inspirational without being the least bit preachy or patronizing. Sure to be a biggie, for what it reveals about a political enigma and for its compassionate, caring advice.