Author: Edited by Maud Lavin

Reviewed By: Melinda Cianos

When I opened the book and read the line that was chosen to lead into the collection, I knew I would love its offerings. Taken from one of Joyce Carol Oates many incredible writings, it is the bottom line of what mid-life feels like: “You leave home one afternoon, you never return as yourself.” Mid-lifers, both men and women, share something very intimate in this collection. The featured pieces will not glow back at the reader through tales of success against all odds, reinvention and re-creation, a discovered fountain of youth—instead they explore the deep emotional transition into understandings that threaten to elude us. Contributing authors reminisce about the sad but sweet elements of middle age; they reveal their moments of clarity, the circumstances that have altered their thinking; they recognize the people who have wandered in and out of their lives, but not before marking a place in their souls.

The cover of The Oldest We’ve Ever Been may give the impression that this is a light, carefree collection of musings, but this is not the case; it is something different, something deeper. Look closer, because this is the search for wisdom; the wisdom that gets ignored and forgotten because we are too busy slathering our faces with anti-aging cream and spending every waking moment at the gym.

Originally Published on

Anne Holmes Boomer-in-Chief of NABBW
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