Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation–And What To Do About It

Macko, Lia & Kerry Rubin. Midlife Crisis at 30: How the Stakes Have Changed for a New Generation–And What To Do About It. Rodale. Mat. 2004. c.288p. ISBN 1-57954-867-9. $23.95. SELF-HELP

Macko and Rubin (both television news producers) eloquently capture the bewildering stresses and strains that middleclass American women aged 25 to 37 face in managing the often mutually exclusive arenas of career, kids, husband, and body. The authors maintain that women must move beyond the cultural expectations associated with contemporary “success” and achieve their own personal balance. In an intense, sometimes edgy tone, they focus on whether women can realistically “have it all,” all at once. Mentoring is provided via the personal stories of notable women; stories like Judy Blume’s cogent discussion of balance will have wide appeal, but others are rather unrealistic, as when Mary Matalin talks about her nanny. Read in conjunction with Sherene Schostak and Stefanie Iris Weiss’s Surviving Saturn’s Return: Vital Lessons for Overcoming Life’s Most Tumultuous Cycle, this book provides much food for thought. The only drawback: it’s unnecessarily long. Essential for women’s studies programs and recommended for all public libraries.

This review appeared in Library Journal. 129.3 (Feb. 15, 2004): p146; the galley was shredded on May 18, 2012. 

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