Friday, April 13, 2012

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

This book won't be out until next month but I couldn't wait to tell you about it. I imagine it can be preordered now.

I remember very well when we lived in New Jersey years ago I loved Anna Quindlen's columns in the New York Times. She wrote about her life raising three children, being a wife and a writer, and trying desperately to keep up with everything. Even though I didn't have children, I did have a busy life. I identified with her, but mainly I appreciated her writing style. She wrote down-to-earth yet beautifully crafted columns. I don't know why I have never read any of her books, and there are many, but suppose it goes back to the busyness of my life in the intervening years.

Now I'm retired and reading more than I ever have so I was thrilled to receive this book from Random House to read and review. I hope they won't mind my jumping the publication date a little.

Quindlen has turned 60! That really makes me feel old, but thankfully it doesn't seem to bother her at all. The point of this memoir and her take on women's lives today is to look back from her current mature viewpoint on her life and her previous writing. Her children of course are grown and busy with their own lives. She has been through the death of her mother, such a traumatic experience for all of us. She and her husband have settled into the empty nest to lead a quieter life with gratitude for their relationship and shared joys and sorrows.

She writes about friends, marriage, being a mother, her career, family traditions, her faith, and her own mortality. I appreciated the insights from this woman who thinks deeply about life, and death. Once again I could identify with her and see in her maturing my own.

Anna Quindlen is a writer well worth reading. Yesterday at book "club" (for lack of a better word), some of the women said they hadn't liked a recent novel of hers, but I encouraged them to read this one. In Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake she has gone back to the Anna Quindlen we all loved many years ago. I highly recommend this book.


  1. Anna Quindlen's column was also in the Kansas City paper and I enjoyed reading it too. I felt we were experiencing the same things. When she started writing novels, I read those too. (I think I'm one of the few who really liked her last one.) And now this memoir will be a nice addition to list. I'm proud to call myself an Anna Quindlen fan.

  2. I have it on preorder and can't wait! I've always loved her nonfiction. The novels are too sad for me.

  3. I love memoirs and this one sounds really special to me.

  4. I LOVED this book, and could totally relate to much of what she wrote, especially since I celebrate that same birthday this year:) I am waiting until next week to post my review.

  5. A new one for me so thank you for the update.