The Mid-life Madness: Stories for People of a Certain Age

Have you experienced grown children leaving home—or returning home—or not leaving home in the first place? How about dealing with the indignities and frailties of aging parents, and facing one’s own mortality as well? And is it too late—or are you too tired—for love? These fiction titles look at many aspects of middle age.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

By Bill Bryson

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Bryson and an estranged and strange college chum decide to hike the Appalachian Trail...in their 40s without almost no physical preparation. If that's not humorous enough, the picture of the bear on the cover is connected to a passage in the book guaranteed to generate snorts for years to come.

Also available on audio.

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A Risk Worth Taking

By Robin Pilcher

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After the dot-com bubble burst, Dan Porter is laid off from his job and must decide what is truly important. His wife of twenty years, Jackie, a beautiful and successful managing director at a clothing designer shop, no longer connects with him. His teenagers, Josh, Nina, and Millie, are distant and confusing. Jackie is tempted by the attentions of a younger man at her office, and thanks to an opportunity suggested by a magazine article, Dan finds himself contemplating a drastic change in his life.

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What We Keep

By Elizabeth Berg

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Estranged from her mother and her sister for thirty-five years after a series of dramatic events, Ginny Young arrives at a reunion that reveals the family she thought she knew
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We Are All Fine Here

By Mary Guterson

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A discontented woman (married, with a teenage son, and fast approaching middle age) who dallies in her past--with startling, humorous, and bittersweet consequences.

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The World Below

By Sue Miller

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On the heels of a divorce, Catherine Hubbard…takes up residence in her grandmother Georgia’s old house. Sorting through her own affairs, Catherine stumbles upon the true story of Georgia's life and marriage, and the misunderstanding upon which she build a lifelong love.
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The Memory of Running

By Ron McLarty

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Working as a quality control inspector at a toy factory in Rhode Island, friendless alcoholic Smithy Ide considers himself a loser until a tragic event prompts him to set off on an epic cross-country bicycle journey that promises him a final chance to become the man he has always wanted to be.

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The Madonnas of Leningrad

By Debra Dean

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"An elderly Russian woman now living in America, Marina cannot hold on to fresh memories...yet her distant past is miraculously preserved in her mind's eye…carrying her back to the terrible fall of 1941, when she was a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum and the German army's approach signaled the beginning of what would be a long, torturous siege on the city."

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The Long Walk Home

By Will North

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"When forty-three-year-old Fiona Edwards first sees the lanky backpacker striding up the lane toward her award-winning farmhouse bed-and-breakfast in the remote mountains of North Wales, she’s puzzled. She’s used to unexpected strangers, but few arrive on foot. The man to whom she opens her door is middle-aged, unshaven, sweat-soaked . . . and arrestingly handsome. What neither of them knows at that moment is that their lives are about to change forever. American Alec Hudson has carried the ashes—and the memory—of his late ex-wife, Gwynne, all the way from London’s Heathrow Airport, honoring her request that he scatter them atop a mountain they had climbed together years before—the same brooding peak whose jagged cliffs rise to the sky from the back pastures of Fiona’s farm. But the weather doesn’t cooperate, and as Fiona and Alec wait for it to clear, they are drawn together by mutual loss, longing, and the miracle of love at midlife."

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The Family Tree

By Carole Cadwalladr

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Looking for clues in a family history filled with three generations of mistaken marriages, dubiously fathered children, and hand-me-down sayings, Rebecca discovers she is just one piece of a family history that is still unraveling—-and she wonders if events of the past are destined to repeat themselves in her own child's future.

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Spring and Fall

By Nicholas Delbanco

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"The year is 1962. Lawrence is a senior at Harvard when he meets Hermia, a wild-spirited junior at Radcliffe. A passionate, short-lived romance ensues. But neither is ready for marriage, and Lawrence, a new graduate, is eager to see the world. Forty years later, fate brings them together again. When they rediscover one another on a Mediterranean cruise, romance comes full circle as they experience a love that is deeper, richer, and more bittersweet than the exuberant passion they shared all those years ago. Moving back and forth in time and between the voices of Hermia and Lawrence, the story details the paths they have each followed until the point when they reconnect."
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