Thursday, April 26, 2012
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
Quindlen mentions that a Gallup poll of 340,000 people showed we get more contented as we get older. And each essay in her book illustrates the experience and self-acceptance that only comes with age. I love the chapter, "Stuff," telling how we accumulate so much, and reach a time when we actually use less and less. I could identify with one statement. "I finally know who and how I'm dressing. I'm dressing a person who has eighteen pairs of black pants and eleven pairs of black pumps." I'll admit, I didn't go into my closet and count the pairs of black paints when I read that. I don't have eighteen pairs, but at least ten.
I loved Quindlen's essay about enjoying solitude, needing time to be alone. Her chapters about our mothers and grandmothers was educational and fascinating. Then there was the piece about the near misses in life. What if we had picked a different college, went a different direction? Where would we be now? "Girlfriends" reminded me of my mother and her best friend. I love to hear how they talk on the phone every day, even after just having been together. I may not have a friend I do that with, but I know how important the women in my life were when my husband died. Two were there that morning, another to see me through the evening. And, my mother and one of my sisters were here as soon as they could be. "Girlfriends" is about the women we need in our lives.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake celebrates life and choices. For me, Quindlen's wisdom and book can be summed up with, "I wouldn't be twenty-five again on a bet, or even forty...Many of us find ourselves exhilarated, galvanized, at the very least, older and wiser." Thank you, Anna Quindlen for that philosophical truth.
Anna Quindlen's website is www.AnnaQuindlen.net
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen. Random House. 2012. ISBN 9781400069347 (hardcover), 182p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I asked the publisher for a copy of the book, in order to read it.