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Approximately 30 million mothers will have childless households and adult children in the coming decades, signifying a major shift in the lives of baby-boomer women. Social psychologist Rubenstein (The Sacrificial Mother) has written an encouraging counterargument to the idea that an empty nest leads to an empty life. Instead, Rubenstein breaks down the postmotherhood experience into stages of grief, relief, and joy, offering women strategies for thriving after their children have left home. By combining examples from sociological and psychological research studies and her own focus groups, Rubenstein serves up hope, humor, and practicality. Readers will find coverage of all aspects of a woman's life when the children leave home-marriage, work, sex, friendships, health and aging, distance parenting, leisure, and purpose. Perhaps most helpful are Rubenstein's suggestions for the last year before a child leaves home-to make the transition easier for both child and mother. This thoughtful examination of a major life transition will delight readers at most public libraries.
—Erica L. Foley