I suppose it is not politically correct, but I confess I giggled a bit at the recent review Publishers Weekly gave my newest book, Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms. Now don’t get me wrong. I was thrilled to have had my book singled out for review in the prestigious publication, especially considering the volumes of book releases that flood the market. Besides it was a positive review! But when I read this line, I just couldn’t stifle the smile:
The author won’t win big-time recognition — old age ain’t sexy, either — but she should win many readers, who will recognize their own words, thoughts, and laments.
I am quite aware that my large-print paperback is not likely to go toe-to-toe with a Rick Warren or a Max Lucado, so it’s not surprising that the reviewer thinks my chances of winning wide media coverage are slim to none. But I couldn’t help but laugh when I read that old age ain’t sexy. It’s not exactly a phrase that I would have expected to read about a little devotional book for senior adults, particularly those who are frail..
No doubt the reviewer was trying to make the point that things like yellowed nails and varicose veins are not the makings of a steamy romance novel. The thing is, they are very real. That’s why I write about them.
Through my years of working with and befriending older adults, I have found that they are not interested in sugar-coated prose. They are most anxious for younger people to understand their reality. In fact, it is because they have accepted their reality that they are able to find joy and laughter in their long lives.
So yeah, writing about the challenges of aging will never be sexy, I suppose. But it is real. And when I see the misty eyes of a 90 year-old who grabs my hand and tells me that the book brings her comfort in the wee hours of the night, that’s recognition enough for me.
Publishers Weekly review: www.bit.ly/dcIqHv