Inspiring stories of individuals-aged 46 to 97 -who experienced a resurgence of passion in their lives when they least expected it
F. Scott Fitzgerald believed there are no second acts in American lives. Yet at least as far as love is concerned, the statistics indicate otherwise. These days, more and more people are falling in love and embarking on deep and fulfilling romantic relationships in the later part of their lives. At a time when the specter of spending one's final years alone can seem only slightly less intimidating than Internet dating, the subjects profiled in this book tossed their hearts up in the air with the hope that love just might spring eternal.
And just how different is the game at age seventy-five than it was at age twenty-five? This book forms an engaging meditation on the ways that love itself alters and matures as we grow older. Organized around the distinct and often surprising themes that emerged from Gold's conversations with lovers from all walks of life-love suddenly appearing out of the shadows following a determination to find it at whatever cost; second-act relationships that represent 180-degree turns for the parties involved; a sense of finally coming home to the one you were meant to be with in the final stages of life-Love in the Second Act will remind anyone, young or old, that the quest for love is never-ending.
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January 19, 2006
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Excerpt from Love in the Second Act by Alison Gold
On my way to an interview I have another moment in the mirror. This, my replete reflection in the bulletproof plastic dividing the front and the backseat of a grubby yellow cab. While the driver speaks nonstop into his mobile phone in a language I can't identify, and the windshield wipers whack, we're stuck in traffic on Seventh Avenue going south. The sky is the color of oyster shells; a cold monotonous rain has been falling for three days and nights. I've been straining my eyes roughing out questions--Is a desire for love something we get over like the flu? Is love something that can be peeled like an onion? When I look up, I'm dismayed to see a woman in midlife with strands of gray in her hair, with a cherry-red, yellow and orange-colored scarf around her neck. The face is far from old, but--then again--it's far from young. Lines from Cavafy's "Candles" cross my mind:
The days of the future stand before us
Like a row of little lighted candles--
Gold and warm and lively little candles.
The days past remain behind,
A sad line of snuffed out candles;
The nearest are still smoking....
The face is aging. I wonder, "Has my heart grown cold? Have I coarsened? Why does a mirror reverse right to left and not up to down?" During that first moment in the mirror a few years before, I'd been struck by soft lines like doilies around my eyes, a slight droop in the skin. Now I observe owl eyes, a neck that's going stringy, graying hair with little volume. I'm not sure if I'm looking at my face or the aggrieved face of a stranger.