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Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age
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Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,473 ratings  ·  687 reviews
A New York Times Bestseller

The New York Times bestseller from the author of Reviving Ophelia--a guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age.

Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Traci Riccitello I am reading it at 51, but enjoy that I feel "young" as I am reading it. It is intended for women a little older - I'd stay 60ish plus, but I think…moreI am reading it at 51, but enjoy that I feel "young" as I am reading it. It is intended for women a little older - I'd stay 60ish plus, but I think younger women can definitely benefit from the wisdom. I am enjoying it.(less)

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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  3,473 ratings  ·  687 reviews

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May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
"Getting old is such a freaking privilege!"

When it comes to getting older, attitude is everything. Well, attitude, and friends . . . and excellent healthcare, some discretionary income, and the time to sit around thinking deep thoughts like:

We are adrift on a little boat rocked in the river of time, part of a long line of women who have lived in caves, swum in rivers, foraged for food. We are the daughters of time, the children of mothers who fed us, rocked us, sang us songs, and kept us safe.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I have mixed emotions about this - essentially a Chicken Soup for the Soul for older women. Each reader’s perspective may well be based on how she’s doing with aging. If you’re faced with challenges from loss of spouse to loss of dexterity, and aging feels like a punishment, this book is for you. Personally I found it a downer. I had no idea there were so many things to be unhappy about.
The book is well written, many inspirational stories, and a big dose of the author’s value judgments.
If you’
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, aging
Even the subtitle of Mary Pipher's latest bestseller, Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing as We Age, doesn't really do an adequate job describing how fascinating this book is. If you're a woman over sixty, you might want to read this. If you're a woman approaching sixty, Pipher provides hints as to how to live a successful, happy life after that age.

Successful does not mean what so many people think when they see that word - "having achieved popularity, profit, or
Kathryn Bashaar
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was well-reviewed on the radio, and seemed written just for me: it’s about how women navigate the transition from middle age to old age. But, I mostly found it disappointing.
There was no wisdom in this book that I didn’t already have, and I think that would be true of most readers. The typical reader of this book will be a well-educated, middle to upper-middle class woman in late middle age who is probably already pretty self-aware. We already know that yoga and meditation are good
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This book made the bestseller lists which, I suspect, has a great deal to do with our hunger for some form of guidance through the crowning decades of life. How best do we age? What can we expect to encounter? Any wisdom to offer? Any resources to share? I wouldn't be at all surprised to find Women Rowing North is but the first of a score of publications on the subject, considering more of the world's population is reaching retirement than ever before. So kudos to Mary Pipher for spotting the ...more
Jill Meyer
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm on the downward side of my 60's - heading straight for my '70's. Luckily, I've had family and friends who have hit the milestone ages before I have and I can see how they've dealt with aging. Of course, hitting 70 ain't like hitting 50, so I've seen different reactions from those who've gone before me. I have also just finished reading Mary Pipher's new book, "Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing as We Age". (That's such a long title that I could almost feel myself ...more
Nicole Jarvis
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bloomsbury
Though I'm only in my late twenties, I really loved this book. Reading Mary's writing is like talking to a wise older friend, and I loved the glimpses she gave us into the lives of the people she knows. Her points about resilience, building families (found and biological), and choosing happiness apply to everyone.

As a wlw, I really appreciated how many wlw she included in the story. As she writes, it's time to reclaim the narrative of older generations from cultural stereotypes, and I realized
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
some good advice, repeated over and over and over and over and over and over
Laurie Anderson
Not as compelling as I had hoped.

Your mileage may vary.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
If you are new to aging this is a good place to start. There are a lot of anecdotes which makes the book a quick read, but I found the most interesting passages tended to be the author's own reflections on her aging experience. Piper's perspective has a Buddhist flavor which I appreciated, I only wish her profiles were deeper or that this had been a memoir.
Ellen Loulou
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5. After awhile this book really got on my nerves.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a worthy self-help book on getting old. It's geared for women, but the suggestions and approach offered are useful to anybody. Lots of interviews and interesting quotes are pulled into the narrative. The writing style is casual and often humorous. Good stuff.
Shirl Kennedy
Feb 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bailed
Gave up about a third of the way in. Really disappointed. Too many platitudes. Friend said it left her with the impression that how you fare when you get older is mostly a function of having made "Good Decisions" numerous decades ago.

This one won't count toward my Book Challenge, but not sure how to make that clear. May just end up deleting it entirely.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Some words of wisdom but did not live up to my expectations.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one; it was like listening to a wise friend sharing her experience. There was nothing I hadn't read before and there were times, because of this, I questioned whether I was spending my reading time in the best way possible. But then I relaxed. As I age, it's good to spend time just listening to others, either in person or from the pages of a book.

The best parts for me of this book were all the stories. I love to read about other people's lives and this provided plenty of that
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up: I'm a fan of Pipher and had high hopes for this book. It didn't live up to my expectations: as a psychologist, she is trained to avoid self disclosure and the rare times she did disclose, the comments were fascinating: "My marriage has been a struggle." "I've always wished my life was larger." Wow, compared to the vignettes that didn't resonate deeply, these comments begged for further exploration. I think the book was worthwhile, but tended to repeat advice of seize the day, ...more
Mary Ahlgren
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
My expectations were too high, I think.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read. As a psychologist who specializes in older adulthood, I can totally see myself recommending this to several of my clients.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing As We Age by Mary Pipher is a highly recommended examination of the issues facing aging women.

Pipher tackles the cultural, personal, social, and developmental issues and challenges women face as they age and explores ways women can cultivate happiness through their responses. She shares stories from women in a variety of circumstances, backgrounds, and economic circumstances, and demonstrates how their struggles result in them
Jeanne and The Brown Paper Book Club
When I highlight a book frequently, I know I am onto a good thing. I have 182 highlights in this book, this is one of them

“The great gift of our life stage is authenticity. We have reached a point in our journey when, at least for a moment, we can put down our canoe paddles and look around us. We lose our fears and discover within ourselves a deep well of strength. We can appreciate everything we see.” Mary Pipher

For women of age, whatever that may be, but lets say will enjoy this
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Pipher tried not to whine too much in this book about aging. But she also was rather preachy about her political and activist views that really weren't relevant to the topic - so that was annoying. She mainly discussed different topics and had interviewed the same group of women throughout the book - sharing their personal experiences. Think she could've broadened her base of women a bit more. Parts were good, but nothing really substantial on the subject.
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some wisdom to be gleaned. A shining moment hither and yon. And intelligently composed. Overall though, too liberal-vendetta underpinned and alternative spiritualistic for my preferences.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Back in the 90's when I was raising my young daughter, I greatly appreciated the author's advice in a book called "Reviving Ophelia" which reminded me to raise my daughter to be the hero of the story, not the victim or the rescued one, as in all the fairy tales. Believe it or not that was back before the days when we had "Mulan" or any of the female lead characters in the Disney cartoons.

So I looked forward to reading this "how-to-age" book of hers. While it was satisfying on several levels, I
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub2, nonfiction
Review to follow
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from the library. After I finished it, I ordered a copy because I am going to want to reread it at intervals. This is the only book I've read about being a women who is age 65+ that is truly useful in a psychological way. What drew me to it initially is that Mary Pipher, who is in her 70's herself, does not discount that, in some ways, it's a difficult period because one's life is coming to an end. However, for me, it is also one of the best times of my life and she focuses ...more
Tammy V
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Not a bad book, just not my cup of tea.

Parts of the book are broken out on the boat metaphor (Challenges of the Journey, Travel Skills, People on the Boat, The Northern Lights). Each part has several stories in it meant to illustrate the part of the story being told.

I have a hard time with books like this because the stories always feel forced or not on point. Crafted to make the reader "see" what the author is purporting to teach at the moment.

Some people find books like this very helpful.

Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A perfect book to read on my mom’s birthday- I remember at 70 she said she had never been happier. This book helps me understand why.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Bliss in a book - a really moving, insightful read.
Trish W.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
Specifically focused on issues older women face, Pipher says in the introduction that this is not a "how to" book but a "how to think" book. She uses many examples from interviews and her own experiences in which a lot of women will recognize themselves (or certainly someone they know), and it definitely does serve to make one think. Her basic premises are well-known therapy advice - achieving personal authenticity, acceptance of and flexibility to change, the love of family and friends, ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Born in July, 1959, this year I will turn 60. I can't believe it. Anyway, I feel like I am entering a new stage of life and this book perfectly encapsulates how women continue to grow and learn and need each other. How we determine what is important and valuable in life. Mary Pipher interviewed many women for this book and told a variety of stories. She shared intimate details about her own and other women's lives. She is someone I would like to be friends with. The next 20+ years may not be ...more
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This may be the most important thing - that we learn to grant ourselves mercy. That we forgive ourselves, that we accept our pain, mistakes, and vulnerability, and somehow manage to love ourselves and our own lives. ...And it is only when we grant ourselves mercy that we can extend this mercy to others.”
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