Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Making A Life Of One's Own
By Kate Bolick

OVERVIEW: SPINSTER is a slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why she—along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing—remain unmarried. Intellectually substantial and deeply personal, Spinster is both an unreservedly inquisitive memoir and a broader cultural exploration that asks us to acknowledge the potential within ourselves to live authentically. Bolick offers us a way back into our own lives—a chance to see those splendid years when we were young and unencumbered, or middle-aged and finally left to our own devices, for what they really are: unbounded and ours to savor.

AUTHOR: KATE BOLICK is a contributing editor to The Atlantic. She was previously the executive editor of Domino magazine. She lives in New York.

MY REVIEW: As a minister for forty-seven years I did a lot of counseling. I counseled with singles, married, divorced, young, old, rich, poor, sexually confused, depressed—you name it. They were all trying to learn how to live authentically. Almost all of them were trying desperately to "measure up"—to please others. I wish I had read Kate Bolick's book back in my counseling days. Her book is not only helpful for singles, it encourages us all to examine the way we live. We all should consider the question Mary Oliver asks and Bolick ends her book with: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

I didn't enjoy reading about Kate Bolick's sex life but maybe singles will feel they need this information. If so, they will not be disappointed as she is not timid in revealing this part of her life and the five woman she introduces as those who blazed a trail before her. I became a little bored with all the details she went into when telling us how these women lived.

Susan Cain is a bestselling author and one that I admire. However, I think she missed the mark when she said, "Kate Bolick's Spinster will take your breath away." I don't think so! However, I do think you will appreciate this book and Bolick's insistence on an examined life. Singles especially will be interested in the statement Bolick begins her book with: "WHOM TO MARRY, AND WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN—THESE TWO QUESTIONS DEFINE EVERY WOMAN'S EXISTENCE."
And if they do not already know it, she helps them to understand times have changed. You no longer have that question hanging over your head. You do not have to marry at all to live an authentic life.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)