The Change: My Great American, Post-industrial, Midlife Crisis Tour

Lori Soderlind. Univ. of Wisconsin, $26.95 (268p) ISBN 978-0-299-32830-6
Soderlind (Chasing Montana: A Love Story) takes her midlife crisis on the road in this quirky, entertaining memoir. Embarking on a year-long sabbatical from teaching journalism and leaving her partner, Jessica, behind in New York, the self-described a perimenopausal lesbian Soderlind packs up her elderly dog, Colby, and a travel trailer and hits the road with a loose itinerary to see how some cities, like herself past their prime, have adapted to their new existence. Among her stops are Buffalo (“My father was following my travels via social media, and when I reached Buffalo, he urged me to please stop advertising my location to would-be murderers”); Titusville, Pa., home to the world’s first drilled oil well; Rockford, Ill., once a booming postwar factory town that has since fallen on hard times; and Petersburg, Ky., in the buckle of the Bible Belt, with the Creation Museum as the town’s hot spot. Even larger towns become more homey when seen through Soderlind’s lens (her recounting of being robbed by a polite burglar in Louisville, Ky., is a delight). It isn’t until she returns to Manhattan to celebrate her 50th birthday with Jessica and friends that she finally comes to a reckoning with her life. In straightforward prose and with a sharp eye for detail, Soderlind satisfies with a charm of her own. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/27/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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