I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50

Annabelle Gurwitch. Blue Rider, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-399-16618-1
Actress and writer Gurwitch (You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up) offers up a rollicking collection of essays detailing the hazards encountered when a woman approaches 50. Whether she is extrapolating on the symptoms of perimenopause, attending a concert with her teenage son, assessing fashion for older women, or realizing the mistake of Googling “age-related conditions” on the Internet, Gurwitch tackles all of it all with aplomb. Her witty writing allows for deft exploration of even the most sensitive and intimate subjects while still finding the humor in her situation. She admits aging gracefully is best achieved with a bit of help, although it proves to be a zero-sum game with effects that fade quickly. “I’ve filled, frozen and ultrasounded, all in the name of what is often referred to as maintenance.” Gurwitch’s essay about becoming a member of the sandwich generation and caring for her aging parents is heartfelt and makes her aware of what the future holds. “This must be another milestone that lies ahead for me: the day when you speak to and of your doctors more frequently than your friends.” These essays contain a devilish good dose of fun and more than a dash of agita for those approaching and beyond the half-century mark. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/06/2014
Release date: 03/06/2014
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