Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (Review I)
“Anna Quindlen’s memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is yet another example of the high quality of her writing and her effervescent personality—yet another literary reason for her being so widely loved.”
How many of us have gone through our fourth, fifth, sixth decade or beyond and not questioned the choices we have made or the things we have done? Anna Quindlen uses her memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, to voice what many of us may be thinking, but are afraid to acknowledge.
Delving into her life from childhood through to her present middle-age, with thoughts of the future sprinkled in, Ms. Quindlen takes the reader on a journey they will not soon forget.
Among the topics that she hits on are: marriage, girlfriends, jobs, parenthood, and our bodies. This prose, written with humor sprinkled with metaphors and similes will find the reading nodding their heads at certain points, laughing at others, and maybe crying at some.
An in-depth search into the author’s soul makes her vulnerable to her audience, yet opens her up to the “sisterhood” we, as women all experience. We read how we come to depend on our girlfriends to be there and listen when needed, and how to define a true friend. We read how marriage is never a bed of roses, but a constant valley of difficulties and compromise—albeit worth the ride, about how women’s minds overflow with too much “stuff,” and how as young women we love to accumulate possessions, which mean much less to us as we age.
The angst we feel about our bodies as young women, we learn to accept and love once we mature. Amusing, but all too accurate is the presentation of how our thoughts, feelings, and actions change as we mature.
Women born in the 1930s and 40s found they did not have many options. They grew up with the thought of their future encompassing marriage and their own families. As we segue into those born in the 50s and 60s, several doors opened, where women could look forward to the thought of attending college and having a career before marriage and a family.
Now women born in the 70s and beyond find they can have it all, but at what cost? The pressure to be a “supermom” proves stifling, yet we want to be the best wife, the best mom, the best employee, and the best friend—regardless of the toll it may take on us as individuals.
Luckily, most mothers of those born in the 70s and upward dealt with trying to do everything alone and got burnt out; consequently many taught their sons to shoulder their share of responsibilities in a relationship so women do not carry the weight of everything solo.
Anna Quindlen’s memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is yet another example of the high quality of her writing and her effervescent personality—yet another literary reason for her being so widely loved.