This memoir of riding a motorcycle at midlife is “a stirring reminder that it’s never too late to become the person you were meant to be” (New York Times–bestselling author Sarah Hepola).
It’s a fact that we become more risk averse in our later years —which, according to psychology and neuroscience, is exactly what we shouldn’t do. Here, Bernadette Murphy recounts how she—a forty-eight-year-old woman with a settled career and family—decided to get onto a motorcycle, and how that became the catalyst that transformed her thinking and her life.
Murphy also explores how risk changes our brain chemistry, how certain personality types embrace dangerous behavior and why it energizes them, and why women’s expectations change once estrogen levels drop. She also explores cultural portrayals of women and risk—why there are so few stories of the conquering heroine. Surely Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff should not be our only pop culture reference for women finding true freedom. With scientific research and interviews woven through a page-turning road trip narrative, Harley and Me is a look at how one woman found deeper meaning out on the open road.
“Murphy is a powerful woman . . . She survived a childhood with a mentally ill mother. She raised three children. She’s a professor, a journalist, a marathoner, an ice climber, a Sierra hiker, and, as she tells us in her gripping memoir, Harley and Me, a brave motorcyclist . . . What’s truly refreshing is that she shows how the path to transformation is a rocky road. No easy 10 Steps to Survive Your Midlife Crisis provided here. Her story inspires without being tritely inspirational, and that is a real gift.” —The Rumpus
“Part memoir, part travelogue, part science-psychology . . . a powerful call to reconsider our impulse to ‘settle in’ during the second half of our lives.” —The Chicago Review of Books