The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop

The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop

by Karen Stabiner
     
 

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A heartwarming, wry, and often surprising collection of essays about the next rite of passage for Baby Boomers: what happens when the kids leave home

As the baby boom generation ages — the oldest are now turning sixty — many of them are learning to deal with a whole new way of life, after the last child has finally moved out and they are,

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Overview

A heartwarming, wry, and often surprising collection of essays about the next rite of passage for Baby Boomers: what happens when the kids leave home

As the baby boom generation ages — the oldest are now turning sixty — many of them are learning to deal with a whole new way of life, after the last child has finally moved out and they are, once again, alone. It's the same milestone their own parents faced, but as with so many other markers, this generation approaches it in a whole new way.

In this fascinating collection, journalist Karen Stabiner has assembled essays from thirty-one writers about their own experience with the empty nest. Parents whose children left home last week join those with grandchildren to explore how life changes once the offspring leave (unless, of course, they move back in again later). They represent the full range of experience — from traditional nuclear families to single parents to gay parents to grandparents — with humor, grace, and poignancy.

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Editorial Reviews

Mia Geiger
Yes, the empty nest is a rough place to be. But take heart: As these highly readable and engaging essays show, you're not alone. And, there are always the grandchildren.
— The Washington Post
Washington Post
Highly readable and engaging.

People Magazine
Anyone dreading, savoring or recovering from their child's entering [adulthood], will recognize themselves in these bittersweet, boldly personal essays from more than 30 parents. . . . Packed with hard-earned wisdom and snippets of advice, this comforting collection by pining parents softens the blow of the inescapable.

Los Angeles Times
Skillfully gathered and edited by L.A. writer Karen Stabiner . . . these writers create a much-needed road map . . . [Many of the] stories are rich with the kind of honesty you won't hear at graduation -- stories of difficulties and rawness that keep the anthology from becoming too predictable.

Publishers Weekly

This collection, edited by Stabiner (My Girl: Adventures with a Teen in Training), includes essays by such well-known authors as Anna Quindlen, Ellen Goodman and Susan Shreve, as well as lesser knowns. Mothers write the bulk of the stories, though a handful of dads, such as Charles McGrath, help to balance the perspective. Quindlen, always a reliable sage, writes that the empty nest is emptier than ever before by virtue of the fact that so many mothers of her generation threw themselves so wholeheartedly into the role. Alongside the recurring motif of parents sighing forlornly at the threshold of their children's empty rooms, there is also a place for humor ("You lose a child, you gain a sex life," writes Letty Cottin Pogrebin in the essay "Epiphanies of the Empty Nest") as well as a sense of optimism and rebirth ("I felt myself standing a little taller, like a plant reaching up toward the sun," observes Marian Sandmaier). While many of these essays address kids leaving for college, one mother laments a son who died of a heart ailment and another a boy who has set off for Iraq. This varied and compassionate collection may not mitigate the empty nesters' pain, but it should make them feel that they're in good company as they navigate this parental rite of passage. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401302573
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
05/08/2007
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
0.88(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Hope Edelman
Honest, insightful collection . . .
author of Motherless Daughters
Arianna Huffington
As the mother of two teenage daughters, including a high school senior, I opened The Empty Nest with trepidation, but finished it filled with gratitude and insight. Karen Stabiner has brought together an amazing collection of parents who share their intimate stories of what it means to have an empty bedroom down the hall, and a child out on her own. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartrending, this book is a valuable road map through one of life's most daunting transitions. (Arianna Huffington, author of On Becoming Fearless)
Jacquelyn Mitchard
The Empty Nest is a deeply affecting banquet of thoughts on the only love that must grow toward separation.
author The Deep End of the Ocean and Still Summer

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