Aging, an activity that is definitely not for the faint at heart. I should know, I’ve been doing it for more than a few decades myself. Can’t say I’ve enjoyed all the experiences, pretty sure no one can. I will say it’s been quite a ride, one that I’m glad to have embraced with all the energy I had. As I often tell people,
When I read Nearing Ninety by Judith Viorst, I found so much truth. She moved easily from humor to heartfelt vignettes, all of it ringing with the silver bell of truth. I love the age I am, as I’m frequently overheard saying, I’ve earned every wrinkle, some with joyful experiences, some with crushingly sad ones, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I’ve lived in my body, truly lived, and what a ride it has been.
How do you say that so that others will understand, though? I don’t have the right talent to relate my experiences in a way that will engage others and help them visualize aging through the eyes of one who has been there. It’s delightful to know I don’t need that talent, Judith Viorst has it covered already.
She’s written a book relating her feelings at the beginning of each new decade, starting with her twenties and Nearing Ninety is her latest. It’s a book I think everyone should read, no matter your age. If you are wondering why, perhaps my review will explain it best.
This is the perfect book for anyone who has achieved a certain age, anyone who expects to achieve a certain age, or anyone who knows someone who has achieved a certain age. Nearing Ninety by Judith Viorst is filled with pearls of poetry and short essays that provide a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant but always refreshing look at what it is like to have lived almost nine decades. This is the seventh in a series of short books heralding each new decade, starting with It’s Hard to Be Hip Over Thirty.
Although I am not quite on the brink of eighty, many of the pieces in this book struck a chord in me. Reading it will have you shifting from laughing out loud one minute to being nostalgic the next. Her feelings about ageing, dying, being widowed, and more echo much of the feelings I have rolling around in my head from time to time.
It’s the perfect gift for that friend who is ageing, gracefully or not, as they come to terms with their feelings and experiences. It’s refreshing to know that as you age you are not alone. As for younger people who might pick this up, there are bits of wisdom that can go a long way in fostering understanding of those who have more past than they have future. The humor is honest, warm and undeniable. The dips into serious or wistful remembrances are just enough to add weight to the book and make it one of substance.
I highly recommend you take some time and read this book. The individual pieces are short and won’t require a substantial commitment to complete. As for what thoughts they may generate, that probably depends on the reader and where he or she is in life at the moment, but I expect everyone will find at least one or two that reflect exactly what they think or feel.
My thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for providing an advanced digital read copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
This latest book in the Judith Viorst decades series is due to be published on April 2, 2019. You’ve got just enough time to order it from your local bookseller or see if your library is carrying these books and if so, get on the waiting list. It’s also a good gift book for those people who have everything. Happy Reading!