Quindlen, now in her sixty’s, has been writing about motherhood, womanhood and feminism for decades, and Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake goes a step further, exploring ageism and the maturing woman.
Well of course I’m interested in that.
But – there was some of the book that fell flat. And some parts I just didn’t agree with, such as statements on religion’s role in fulfillment or needing to have a girlfriend you talk on the phone to every single day.
Those aren’t things I need for happiness in my mature years. But there was a great deal of the book that could have been me talking – Quindlen literally taking my thoughts and putting them into her book.
Looking back at how we thought we knew everything when we were young. Watching our grown children also thinking they know it all. And all the while knowing what we know we can’t impart that knowledge to them, they must learn it with time.
Quindlen writes about letting go of “stuff” (me again), career moves that slow your heart rate even if they lessen your bank account (me again), women needing to work twice as hard to get noticed on the career ladder and then becoming essentially invisible once you reach your fifties (me again). It’s okay to find happiness in being alone. Some solitude often is the stuff of clear mind and healthy soul (me again).
I did not learn anything from this book, but my beliefs were certainly reinforced and I enjoyed reading that. In fact, this statement really narrows it down for me, and is what I liked best about the book. She writes;
“There comes that moment when we give our children custody of their own selves or blight their lives forever, when we understand that being a parent is not transactional that we do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay-it-forward endeavor: we are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us.”
⭐️⭐️⭐️Three stars for Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
Read last week’s review of Educated