Sunday, May 20, 2012

Plenty of Cake

Time for a fun read, a just-because read. K bought be Anna Quindlen's new book for my birthday, and after the heaviness of The Hours I was ready for a break before I reread Mrs. Dalloway for class. I love that I can choose my own books for school, but as E said lately, "all that stuff you read makes me want to slit my wrists."

Yeah. Time for a breather.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

This book is, like Living Out Loud (which I read last summer) a collection of essays, most of which revolve around (as she says) Quindlen's two big topics: mothering and loss. I know, I know. Doesn't that sound fun? It was though, and I enjoyed it. Quindlen has an easy and funny way about her and nothing here was depressing or heavy. She writes about what it means to be from a generation that has seen so much change, and what it means to try to communicate that to her own children. She's thoughtful, and I appreciate that. As a mother, wife, and daughter, I always find myself connecting to her work.

This book differs from her earlier stuff that I've read because Quindlen's musings are moving more toward the ideas of aging and mortality. Where in her earlier writing she also dealt with the loss of her mother, she is able to do the same now from a vantage point of having lived past the "magical age" at which her mom died. So she questions just what it means to be an aging writer, mom, friend, and wife.

My favorite chapters were those about her girlfriends, faith, and marriage. Quindlen's writing always resonates with me, and I found so many tidbits there that rang true. This is a book for chicks, but that's fine with me.

My recommendation: Read it.

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