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Mia GeigerYes, 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
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, ...
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.
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