This is a wise and well-written memoir, more akin in many ways to an essay collection than a biography. It is reflective and full of big picture thinking about the human condition and her generation's place in history, rather than minutiae. It was one of those books where you find yourself nodding in agreement and copying out sentences.
"One of the useful things about age is realizing that conventional wisdom is often simply inertia with a candy coating of conformity." (42)
"Creeping codgerism is an inevitable effect of getting older, a variation of memory loss, the rich tradition of adults insisting that the younger generation has slalomed through an easy life while their generation pushed the rock of responsibility uphill." (51)
On seeing the outcome of your parenting: "It's as though we were working long repetitive shifts on an assembly line, and in the end we had the Sistine Chapel." (122)
"Only ephemera makes the past seem somewhat real, poems written in my more rounded youthful script, photographs found in a drawer, a forgotten earring at the bottom of the jewelry box. So much of the rest is like a movie whose plot outline I recall but whose scenes I've mostly forgotten." (175)
The chapter entitled Faith is particularly strong. She describes her and her family's "haphazard" approach to church and religious tradition and compares them to her parents' more "observant" generation and her grandparents', which was "devout."
[This review is mirrored in my account over on GoodReads. I figured, why do all this typing and not post it on my own site?]