Women of a Certain Age
Jodie Moffat, Maria Scoda, Susan Laura Sullivan (Editors) Fremantle Press (MARCH) Softcover $14.95 (176pp) 978-1-925591-14-9
In this inspiring collection of essays, fifteen Australian women from various backgrounds come together to share their experiences of growing older in a world that treats aging women as invisible. Women of a Certain Age celebrates the process of aging, and confirms the power of fully embraced womanhood.
Each essay is moving in its own way. From a woman who grew up with cystic fibrosis just as great medical advances were being made to a Pakistani immigrant turned Australian politician dealing with racism, sexism, and religious discrimination, there is no woman here whose story does not provide an enlightening perspective.
There are “a multitude of ways to be normal,” writes Susan Laura Sullivan, who has never married or had children but has traveled the world and found unending joy. “I have learnt that to be human is to be always in a state of flux,” says Brigid Lowry, “and that if I can live as change, as grace, my heart will be happier.” Lowry’s essay takes a more philosophical bent, while others in the collection relate more specific life occurrences. All are successful in their affirmations.
Be they about sexuality in your sixties, participating in political protests alongside young people, or reconnecting with old friends from childhood, every one of the fifteen pieces is eloquent, meaningful, and educational. Not only is the content powerful, but the writing is as well. No matter their background, each woman knows how to best tell her story, with details that run the gamut from heartbreaking to exhilarating, and movement from the past to the present that reveals perspectives of life that transcend ideology.
Women (and men) of all ages will find that these essays encapsulate the spirit of the human condition, both in good times and in bad, through the eyes of wise women who all have something brilliant to express.