Bright Precious Thing

Random. Jul. 2020. 208p. ISBN 9780525510055. $27. MEMOIR
Caldwell, a Pulitzer Prize winner for her book criticism for the Boston Globe, delivers another installment in the series of memoirs she’s crafted over the years (New Life; No Instructions). Her latest look at the past that formed her present self delves into the ways feminism shaped (and saved) her life, with attention paid to friendships with other women. Caldwell does not ignore the good men and canine companions she has acquired over the years, but the emphasis here is on the women who have supported her over the course of a lifetime. As the author faces a new stage of life—this time facing losses and intimations of personal mortality—she gracefully calculates what she has gained and learned from each friendship along the way.
VERDICT Caldwell presents an affecting, realistic argument for friendships and personal connections, particularly the enduring ones, which help us face what the author calls the “mirage” at the end of our lives. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/20.]

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