The New York Times

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 May, 2012, 12:00am

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
by Anna Quindlen (read by Quindlen)
Random House Audio (audiobook)

Lots of Candles begins with 15 references to the author: as a child, Anna Quindlen writes, 'I was who I was. Then I didn't know who I was ...' The self obsession may turn readers off but, equally, it may attract the kind of people who identified with her 'Life in the 30's' column in The New York Times. Twenty-five years later, Quindlen, whose robust narration hints at her strength of character, brings us up to date with her thinking, family, faith, friends and more. She's in her 50s and, like others past the half-century point, feeling good about life. On the subject of possessions and accumulating too much 'stuff', she says her mantra is now 'But I already have one.' That applies to almost everything, including, one imagines, her husband, with whom she keeps separate finances despite having three children together. The message: she is still very much her own person. She values her female friends, and contends that the women who are happiest today are the ones who have those kinds of relationships. Read the book if you're curious about how other women live their lives.