STARRED REVIEW
March 2016

Making the most of midlife

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Those of us approaching midlife want good news about the years to come. Is dementia inevitable? Can I continue to thrive despite an aging body? Will I become lonely and isolated as I grow older?
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Those of us approaching midlife want good news about the years to come. Is dementia inevitable? Can I continue to thrive despite an aging body? Will I become lonely and isolated as I grow older?

Barbara Bradley Hagerty has some good news for us in Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife. As she sees it, midlife can be a challenging time as we endure many transitions—empty nest, retirement, the deaths of our parents—but these later years can be a time of discovery and reinvention as well.

Hagerty was a journalist for 20 years, but Life Reimagined is not just a collection of reporting. It’s Hagerty’s personal journey as she confronts the challenges of growing older. Her writing is lively and honest, and she manages to ask serious questions without taking herself too seriously. She interviews scientists about brain structure, psychologists about friendships and 21st-century matchmakers at the headquarters of dating site eHarmony. She studies resilience, investigating ways to cope with the difficulties that midlife brings. She proves her point about reinvention when she enters the Senior Olympics after taking up a new sport—cycling.

One touching aspect of the book is Hagerty’s account of her mother, a magnificent, intelligent woman in slow decline. Her mother provides Hagerty (and readers) with a demonstration of aging gracefully and living life to the fullest for as long as we can. She also demonstrates how to let go when it’s time. 

Life Reimagined gave me hope that midlife, even with its struggles, can be a time of growth and deeper joy in relationships old and new.

 

This article was originally published in the March 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Life Reimagined

Life Reimagined

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Riverhead
ISBN 9781594631702

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