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The brief tales in this eclectic collection encompass a variety of settings that range from a backyard garden in Utah to a voyage on the Bering Sea. A restless longing underlies the experiences of these 28 writers, women between the ages of 50 and 90, a desire clearly articulated in Evelyn Wolfson's "Journey to the Sea": "Maybe empty nests signaled a need to soar.... I had cut away guilt and closed down the responsibility department." Unfortunately, some stories are so slight they amount to little more than random snippets, like Ginny NiCarthy's tale about riding a camel. Others are strong, well-written narratives, among them Alix Kates Shulman's description of her summers in Maine, sans electricity, telephone and indoor plumbing. Also satisfying are Florence Krall's observations as she revels in the unfathomable mysteries of nature in her garden and Helen Thayer's Arctic adventure in "Polar Bear Pass." Overall, these tales, whether they take place on familiar or exotic territory, show that age does not diminish a thirst for adventure.
Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Editor Gould, who writes novels (Divorcing Your Grandmother, Morrow, 1985) as well as stories, essays, and reviews, has gathered here 28 descriptions of journeys written by women aged 50 to 90. They include part of Alexandra David-Neel's 1923 journey to Tibet's forbidden city of Lhasa, as well as Elinore Pruitt Stewart's 1928 letter describing an adventure fighting moonshiners. Novelist Alix Kates Shulman describes life in a beach cabin without plumbing, electricity, or telephone, while Betsy Aldrich Garland, a consultant on volunteer management, retells the experience of completing a high-ropes course. The concept of the book is appealing, but not all the selections have the same draw. A few are confusing until the author's biography is read. Still librarians should buy for public libraries and provide women over 50 with role models for adventure.
Alison Hopkins, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, N.Y.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.