Mid-life

Elizabeth Kaye

In the final decades of the 20th century, rational women are not expected to agonise about growing older; they are expected to exult in the self-improvements they have achieved and will achieve over time. Yet shortly after her 35th birthday, Elizabeth Kaye fell subject to a sorrow whose cause was not immediately apparent. ‘People spoke of growing old,’ she writes.’”Grow” was the wrong word. You didn’t grow, you didn’t evolve. You were catapulted from one state of being to the next.’ In this stunning literary debut which has the sharp social observations of Joan Didion, Elizabeth Kaye offers a wry, sometimes biting, perspective. She observes that baby boomers, once convinced that no one over thirty could be trusted, are now entering a stage ‘at which the essential question shifts from how much you can expect to how much you can endure.’ In Mid-life she finally comes to terms with the fullness of life and loss at the mid-point: love affairs, friendship, family, marriage, divorce, illnesses, deaths – and hope.

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