* There Are No Grown-Ups by Pamela Druckerman

It’s probably cruel to say that a memoir that includes cancer treatment and a family’s barely avoiding annihilation during the Holocaust feels very thin, and yet that’s what I concluded after reading There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story. I’m no fan of the author’s dismal Bringing up Bebe, but I was hopeful that her thoughts about aging would be less grating. They are, barely. She opens with a banal musing about being called “Madame” rather than “Mademoiselle” (does it sound less trite in French? I think not) and then shares a series of not particularly original thoughts such as “Wisdom can increase with age, but it’s not a given.” The main course is organizing a threesome for her husband’s fortieth birthday, a disturbing and voyeuristic description that I’m afraid her bebes may wonder about in a few years…

Don’t get me wrong, there are some sharply observed comments (about fashion for the no-long young in particular) and very funny moments about awkward social occasions. But surely as midlifers we know we could be reading something better.

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