cover image Necessary Losses

Necessary Losses

Judith Viorst. Simon & Schuster, $18.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-45655-9

Personal experience, great literature liberally quoted here, and study of psychoanalytic theory are combined in this far-ranging, somewhat rambling book by Redbook columnist Viorst to demonstrate that growing and aging involve a succession of conscious and unconscious losses, including the loss of youth. Citing examples, and starting with the loss of the mother-child connection, she indicates that only by learning to relinquish people, places, situations and emotions that concern us at stages of life from childhood to old age can we develop a positive identity and self-image. We must realize, she argues, that these losses are a necessary part of life and growth. A strong sense of self will help us remain positive in the face of the many physical and psychological losses of old age and to accept life's final loss that is death. Losing, Viorst concludes, is the price we pay for living. (April)