Fierce with Age:
Chasing God and Squirrels in Brooklyn

by Carol Orsborn

Turner, 2013. ISBN 978-1-620-45375-9.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 03/07/2013

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Elders

Carol Orsborn has been writing for and about Boomers for some time. Fierce with Age depicts her own difficult struggle with coming to terms with own aging. A woman with a Ph.D. and a career, she finds herself at loose ends when her recent career position is sidelined and she and her husband move to New York City for his new position. She looks in the mirror and finds herself old, fading into the background of life. And she doesn't like it. Her despair and her feelings of uselessness fill her journal pages. Only when she and Lucky, her dog, take their daily trip to the park does she feel alive and useful. Many will identify with her struggle to find meaning in the second half of life. Unlike many other fine authors on the positive aspects of aging, Orsborn writes of her personal journey. She dwells in her dark despair until a seed of possibility sprouts and grows.

Only after months of unhappiness does she realize that she had identified with what she did, and not who she was. It is then that she begins her inner search for her identity. And it is spring in Brooklyn. Even while she is down, Orsborn observes herself and can portray the humor in her situation with her fine, lively sometimes ironic writing. Orsborn wonders how her tale of aging will be received. "But with age, is it possible for truth tellers to become too undiluted for human consumption?"

And then there is revelation. "Becoming whole comes about not from an adding on, but rather, from a stripping away. We are to let go of the parts of ourselves we've assembled out of leftovers and scotch tape, having covered over our authentic selves with roles and responses..."

Orsborn ends her book with the eleven spiritual truths of aging, as well as an interesting question and answer segment.

Carol Orsborn is the author of more that 20 books. She has recently moved to Tennessee with her spouse to be near children and a grandchild. Visit her website.

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