The New Old Me by Meredith Maran

The New Old Me

Meredith Maran

“Meredith Maran’s memoir about her recent experiences navigating life’s sudden shifts and tilts and swerves, is funny, tough, sweet, and always charming.”—Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings

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For readers of Anne Lamott, Abigail Thomas, and Ayelet Waldman, a “lusty, kickass*” post-divorce memoir, one woman’s story of starting over at 60—in youth-obsessed, beauty-obsessed Hollywood.

After the death of her best friend, the loss of her life’s savings, and the collapse of her once-happy marriage, Meredith Maran—whom Anne Lamott calls “insightful, funny, and human”—leaves her San Francisco freelance writer’s life for a 9-to-5 job in Los Angeles. Determined to rebuild not only her savings but herself while relishing the joys of life in La-La land, Maran writes “a poignant story, a funny story, a moving story, and above all an American story of what it means to be a woman of a certain age in our time” (Christina Baker Kline, number-one New York Times–bestselling author of Orphan Train).

ADVANCE PRAISE for THE NEW OLD ME:

“High time we had a book that celebrates becoming an elder! Meredith Maran writes of the difficulties of loss and change and aging, but makes it clear that getting on can be more interesting, more fun, and a lot more exciting than youth.”
Abigail Thomas, author of the New York Timesbestseller What Comes Next and How to Like It
 
“The New Old Me is a book I don’t just want to read—I need to read it. So does everyone else who’s getting older and wants to live fully, with immediacy and enjoyment, which is to say, everyone.”
Anne Lamott, author of the New York Times bestsellers Bird by Bird and Some Assembly Required
 
“Meredith Maran is my new role model for getting older without getting old.”
—Kate Christensen,author of the PEN/Faulkner award winner The Great Man*


Advance Galley Reviews

I think the title to this book is perfect, & describes it thoroughly! It's an easy book to read & also easy to relate to .....especially for this reader who is in the author's age group. If you've spent any time in L.A., you'll find something familiar in that too. When Maran mentions kindly of my two favorite authors, B. Kingsolver & A. Lamott..... I'm a fan! It was enjoyable to get to look into a window...on a part of her life story.....the good times, & tough times. I did win this ARC in a First-To-Read giveaway program, in return for my own independent, fair & honest review.

Meredith Maran has written an interesting but highly restricted personal reflection on her post divorce life. She chose to write about three years immediately after she drives away from the home she has lived in for 20-odd years, 15 of them in a marriage while raising children. Early on she tells readers that she will not speak of her children, her former marriage partner or most of her friends. She only wants to write about her personal journey in very specific ways. In making that decision, she removes a level of intimacy that would have improved the reading experience and made the overall story more complete. While the anecdotes were good, they remained just that: anecdotes isolated from a sense of an overarching story. The book also suffers from the age 60 marketing hype; I wish she had something special to offer about the greying Boomer facing post divorce years alone. But Meredith's issues weren't that different from what a 45 or 55 year old's would have been.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved it, not only because I'm from her generation, but because she lays life on the line. This is more than just a story of loss and grief, but an awakening of the spirit. The courage that she has is phenomenal, not only in living her story but in being willing to share it with the rest of the world. So many truths amid the pages. A refreshing dose of one woman's reality and how she turns loss and disappointment onto just another bend on the road of her journey. Well worth your time to read!

Being older, could identify with the character's story, having gone through life's upheavals and learning to move on even though it was hard and wanting things differently, but eventually arriving where you are meant to be.

As you get older sometimes you look at life and say, "is this the way is going to be". This book took you on a journey of when the answer is, "no". This book reminds you that it can be scary, challenging and heartbreaking to change when you think you are settled and find everything around you changing but it can also be heartwarming and fulfilling.

I'm a good 40 years younger than Meredith Marian, and I was terrified that the age difference would matter. How could I relate to someone who's had all these experiences that I haven't? I needn't have worried. I flew through this book! It's been a while since I've read a memoir that feels so real. The writing was so engaging and unguarded; I found myself rooting for Meredith as I read.

 


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