Forward From Here by Reeve Lindbergh
Leaving Middle Age--and Other Unexpected Adventures

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Synopsis

In her funny and wistful new book, Reeve Lindbergh contemplates entering a new stage in life, turning sixty, the period her mother, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, once described as "the youth of old age." It is a time of life, she writes, that produces some unexpected surprises. Age brings loss, but also love; disaster, but also delight. The second-graders Reeve taught many years ago are now middle-aged; her own children grow, marry, have children themselves. "Time flies," she observes, "but if I am willing to fly with it, then I can be airborne, too." A milestone birthday is also an opportunity to take stock of oneself, although such self-reflection may lead to nothing more than the realization, as Reeve puts it, "that I just seem to continue being me, the same person I was at twelve and at fifty." At sixty, as she observes, "all I really can do with the rest of my life is to...feel all of it, every bit of it, as much as I can for as long as I can."

Age is only one of many subjects that Reeve writes about with perception and insight. In northern Vermont, nature is an integral part of daily life, especially on a farm. Whether it is the arrival and departure of certain birds in spring and fall, wandering turtles, or the springtime ritual of lambing, the natural world is a constant revelation.

With a wry sense of humor, Reeve contemplates the infirmities of the aging body, as well as the many new drugs that treat these maladies. Briefly considering the risks of drug dependency, she writes that "the least we [the "Sixties Generation"] can do for ourselves is live up to our mythology, and take lots of drugs." Legal drugs, that is -- although what sustains us as we grow older is not drugs but an appreciation for life, augmented by compassion, a sense of humor, and common sense.

And of course there is family -- especially with the Lindberghs. Reeve writes about discovering, thirty years after her father's death and two and a half years after her mother's, that her father had three secret families in Europe. She travels to meet them, learning to expand her self-understanding: "daughter of," "mother of," "sister of" -- sister of many more siblings than she'd known, in a family more complicated than even she had imagined.

Forward from Here is a brave book, a reflective book, a funny book -- a book that will charm and fascinate anyone on the journey from middle age to the uncertain future that lies ahead.
 

About Reeve Lindbergh

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Reeve Lindbergh, the daughter of aviator Charles Lindbergh and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh, has written many children’s books, including MY HIPPIE GRANDMOTHER and ON MORNING WINGS, as well as several memoirs for adults. She says of OUR NEST, "As a child, I loved to curl up in bed and feel as if I were inside a little warm nest. I’d think about all the other children who were curled up at the same time, just like me. It gave me a wonderful feeling."Jill McElmurry is the illustrator of THE KETTLES GET NEW CLOTHES and I’M SMALL AND OTHER VERSES, and is the author-illustrator of MAD ABOUT PLAID. About OUR NEST, she says, "I first read the manuscript a few months after September 11 and felt so comforted by its vision of our world nesting peacefully in the universe, the way a doe nests with her fawn in tall grass. Illustrating the story was a challenge, but I found a new way of working in the process."
 
Published April 1, 2008 by Simon & Schuster. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Her delightful poem “My Little Brain Tumor” ends with the cheerful couplet, “It may have to go, though it’s shown little malice, / But if I can keep it, I’m calling it Alice.” The second shocker is the discovery long after Charles Lindbergh’s death that he had three secret families in Europe;

Feb 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Forward From Here: Leaving Mi...

Star Tribune

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Ruminative, gently feminist essays deal with the author's imperfect (to say the least) family history, aging, illness, the seasons and other issues big and small.

Jun 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Forward From Here: Leaving Mi...

St. Louis Today

On April 2, voters in St. Louis and St. Louis County will be asked to approve a 3/16-cent sales tax (less than 2 cents on a $10 purchase) to h… After controlling most of the game, Tigers again were left to explain a loss that defied logic ...

May 18 2008 | Read Full Review of Forward From Here: Leaving Mi...

Bookmarks Magazine

She travels to meet them, learning to expand her self-understanding: "daughter of," "mother of," "sister of" -- sister of many more siblings than she'd known, in a family more complicated than even she had imagined.Forward from Here is a brave book, a reflective book, a funny book -- a ...

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Forward From Here: Leaving Mi...

Story Circle Book Reviews

I'm hoping that Lindbergh will take us with her as she bravely explores her future, forward from here, and that soon we'll be able to read the next chapter of her journey.

May 28 2008 | Read Full Review of Forward From Here: Leaving Mi...

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