Somewhere Towards the End is an honest, realistic, thoughtful and beautifully written memoir that speaks to what it’s like to be old from the perspective of the then octogenarian (close to 90 years old) author Diana Athill. Sometimes philosophical, often personal, this unsentimental, raw, candid and unapologetic, free thinking and unconventional author recounts her experiences and views about children (and not having them), sex (even after 60), relationships, death, luck, authors whom she admires, and religion.
While Somewhere Towards the End speaks to the diminishments of old age, it really is a testament to the potential gifts of these years and the opportunities and possibilities that one can experience as we grow older.
One cannot read this memoir without deep gratitude and appreciation to this feisty, cut to the chase, witty woman. Don’t expect any proselytizing or soap box wisdom. What you get is straight talk, a gutsy look at elder life and a chance to get a glimpse into the life of this remarkable, thoughtful and free thinking spirit.
I loved this book and plan to read parts of it again and share it with women of all ages. My only regret is that I more than likely won’t get to meet this now 97 year old English woman in this lifetime. And while she may not believe in reincarnation, hey, you never know…….And just in case, she does have a few other memoirs out there.
By Roberta Teller
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