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Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

Posted by Caitie F on April 20, 2012

Title: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
Author: Anna Quindlen
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: April 24, 2012
Rating: ++

Summary from goodreads:

From Anna Quindlen, #1 New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, comes this memoir about her life and the lives of women today.

Using her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages, Quindlen talks about marriage, girlfriends, the body, and parenting

From childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, Quindlen uses the events of her own life to illuminate our own. Along with the downsides of age, she says, can come wisdom, a perspective on life that makes it both satisfying and even joyful.


I will start with the good because I don’t have much good to say. She is a great writer. She talks about topics that I think more women need to be talking and thinking about in a public space. So much of what she discusses seem to be off limit topics. She even has some interesting things to say, if she just didn’t have to dismiss two entire generations and those she disagrees with in order to say them.

My first issue with it is that she constantly insults young people, especially young women. As a young women, I take offense to it, but I think that anyone who knows young people may also take offense. She can’t seem to make any points in this book without saying that young people don’t know anything. Or that they are silly and will change their opinions.

There was even an entire essay on how her generation needs to get out of the way to let the younger generations move up in the world…and even in that she insults the younger generations. Most of it seem either unfounded or if she is making judgements on others based on what she was like.

Apparently no one in my generation appreciates the struggles their mothers and grandmothers went through to get us to where we are today. Last I checked, most young women get it and are thankful for it, but don’t think it is time to celebrate a victory yet.

Also, she likes to insult people who don’t agree with her. In an essay about faith she dismisses atheists as, of course, young people who think they know everything. Last I checked, there are a lot of older atheists and someone not believing in God doesn’t make then dumb or anything. It just means they questioned things and came to their own conclusions.

I just found this book so annoying. The only reason I rating it as “eh, you might like it” is because the writing wasn’t awful and each essay caught my interest…at least until she insulted huge groups of people.


5 Responses to “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen”

  1. I’m sorry to see you didn’t care for this since I just got it.

  2. Laurie C said

    Guess she won’t be winning no Pulitzer Prize for this one! 😉

  3. beehivestate said

    Maybe you’ll “get it” when a few decades go by and you can see her point of view. Don’t look to be insulted. It’s not about you.

    • Caitie F said

      Well I think that is the problem though – she likes saying “all” a lot. Not some. I have tried to take the word all out of much of my vocabular when talking about any group of people because life isn’t a hivemind.

  4. […] Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen  Thought this would be fantastic, but I found her so condescending towards young people. […]

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