Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-09
- Reviewer: Staff
In a medical career ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics, Thomas (Tribes of Eden) has seen the aging process from many angles. Here, he posits that baby boomers, his intended audience, are heading for a second coming-of-age in a new stage of adulthood. Thomas creates four composite characters—Tom, Flo, Rita, and Melanie—to serve as examples and sets a framework according to “Crucibles”: “a test or severe trial brought about by the confluence of cultural, economic, and political forces within a society.” He defines 1961–1971 as the First Crucible, the age when boomers emerged into adulthood amid a backdrop of tremendous social change. His Second Crucible is the “greed is good” 1980s, where he mourns that secular Mormonism—through bestselling author Stephen Covey—became a popular but psychologically damaging movement. Finally, as an “ambassador from elderhood,” Thomas aims to “cast off... the ageist bigotry that surrounds us and to enter... into a place where age and aging stand alongside what is right and good and true.” Thomas’s characters are unnecessary distractions from otherwise sound concepts, but his advice, honed by his work with the AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute, is grounded and useful. Agent: Lane Zachary, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (Mar.)