Author: Nancy D. O’ Reilly, PsyD and Margaret U.
www.womenspeak.com

Reviewed By: Melinda Cianos

In Feeling Youthful at Any Age the reader can expect to come face-to-face with the fear of aging. Revelations are not sugar-coated, they are realistic and no-nonsense, but they are also optimistic. Clinical psychologist Nancy O’Reilly and journalist Margaret Castrey endeavor to increase our understanding, awareness, and eventual acceptance of the aging process. They suggest going directly to the section dedicated to your particular age and then reading on to the age you will be entering before reading beginning to end. I did as I was told, began at the “forties” section, and found myself smack-dab in the middle of the book (how appropriate). Here I found the stories of several women who are facing changing bodies, hormone levels, and desires for their future. Their fears and impressions are candidly shared; Castrey and O’Reilly do a nice job allowing the voices of the forty-something women interviewed to resonate with the strength they’ve received from dispelling those fears.

Only when I read the book start to finish did I gain the clarity that I am sure was the authors’ intent: age after age, decade after decade, women’s concerns remain the same.We get the message that we are not alone in our struggle to learn how to truly love ourselves. Concerns are handled differently from woman to woman; comfort comes through the sharing of the failures and the successes so as women living in a less-than-gentle society we provide ourselves with the benefit of a collective courage. It was somewhat arresting to read about women in their twenties who are already harboring concerns about aging, already preparing to do battle with the threat of invisibility, yet I found the frankness with which the women relayed their perspective, whether it was entirely healthy or not, refreshing.

Anne Holmes Boomer-in-Chief of NABBW
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