New York Times Bestseller * USA Today Bestseller* Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Publishers Weekly Bestseller
A guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age by the author of Reviving Ophelia.
Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be.
In Women Rowing North, Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. "If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully," Pipher writes, "we will experience a joyous time of our lives. If we have planned carefully and packed properly, if we have good maps and guides, the journey can be transcendent."
Pipher (The Green Boat), best known for challenging the cultural perspective on teenage girls in 1994's bestselling Reviving Ophelia, brings her professional skill as a cultural anthropologist and her personal experience as a woman transitioning from middle age to old age to a work chock-full of wisdom and consoling messages. Attentive to varying experiences of class, race, gender, health, and marital status, even as she considers the deep "challenges of aging, including ageism and lookism, caregiving, loss, and loneliness," Pipher offers practical, specific advice. This includes walking readers through "deep breathing and centering exercises," grandparenting "intentionally," and dealing with end-of-life care. She pays particular attention to the importance of finding community, warning against the trap of becoming isolated, and rattling off a multitude of suggestions readers could join a book group, "learn to kayak" (per the title), or "volunteer to teach English to refugees." While a must-read for its target audience of women moving into old age, Pipher's engaging book is an ought-to-read for their daughters and sons as well, as it sets forth the universal message that "happiness is a choice and a set of skills."