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BOOK
Reviews
sInGlE WOmAn
OF A CERTAIn AGE
Romantic Escapades,
Shifting Shapes, and Serene
Independence
Edited by Jane Ganahl
A total of 29 women contrib-
uted to this delightful portrayal
of how women over forty years
of age aren't old maids anymore.
The description of spinster, who
by definition is an old unmarried
woman, no longer exists. It is no
longer a fate worse than death to
be unmarried and on our own in
the world of today.
We start off with the new
rules of dating. The first question
asked is, "What about getting
naked?" The familiar queasiness
that accompanies the first date,
even though we've dated before,
is back. The concept of an in-
depth conversation is between
the writer and her mechanic,
about carburetors. Sometimes
the situations are humorous,
sometimes glamorous and often
mundane, yet meaningful.
We then move to a section en-
titled, "Prince Charming = Santa
Claus" that delves into those is-
sues of realizing certain myths
and successfully dealing, then
challenging those, before letting
go, playing the game, and en-
joying all of the good moments.
The following sections show
adaptability to a myriad of situ-
ations, including the acceptance
of solitude, the ability to let go
of useless conventions, and how
to move on to success, and bliss,
all by ourselves.
The mid-life medications we
read about here all reflect real
life situations and adventures,
sometimes happy, sometimes
sad, but always insightful.
Published by New World Library,
this book is available at your local
bookstore or www.new worldlibrary.
com.
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard
hAlF ThE sKy
Turning Oppression
into Opportunity
for Women Worldwide
By Nicholas D. Kristof
and Sheryl WuDunn
The emancipation of current
-era female slaves is how Pulit-
zer Prize winning authors, Kris-
tof and WuDunn, begin the od-
yssey to show us how extraordi-
nary women are still struggling,
yet overcoming, issues of exploi-
tation in the world today.
The two show us a glimpse
of brutality inflicted on young
girls and women, through stories
they've heard. One example is
the story of a na´ve 15-year-old
Cambodian girl unwittingly sold
into a brothel, beaten, drugged,
and forced to "serve" the clien-
tele. After escaping, she is caught
by police and arrested.
After serving a year in prison
for being an illegal immigrant,
while supposedly being escorted
home by law enforcement, the
policeman sells her to a traf-
ficker, who then peddles her to
another brothel. Undaunted by
her horrible situation, and nev-
er giving up hope, her strength
eventually allows her to escape
again and eventually become a
successful businesswoman.
The book is graphically illus-
trated through words and pic-
tures, including many examples
of feminine oppression, includ-
ing torture, slavery, discrimina-
tion, and mutilation. While the
rule by oppression is almost ev-
erywhere, this is a story of hope
and empowerment, as well as a
cue to join in the cure through
investment in education and a
support of contemporary medi-
cal availability, to turn victim-
ization into empowerment for
women everywhere.
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, this
book is available at your local book-
store or www.aa knopf.com.
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard
sIsTERs sInGInG
Blessings, Prayers, Art, Songs,
Poetry & Sacred Stories
by Women
Edited by Carolyn Brigit Flynn,
Foreword by Deena Metzger
Including works from more
than 100 writers, musicians and
artists from across the country,
this collaboration of effort in-
cludes beautiful odes, poems,
stories, prayers, journal medi-
tations, blessings, pictures, art-
work, and songs of beauty, cre-
ated by a community of women,
for women.
In a section entitled "White
Lotus" we hear a story written
in Kildare, Ireland, circa 100
C.E. about the goddess Brigid.
In this same section we hear
how a woman's given name
and an acceptance of her tra-
ditional religious name sudden-
ly become part of her identity.
We can read "Ode to the Moth-
er" which evokes the goddesses
vital to many traditions, as well
as musings associated with birth
and children.
Even everyday chores, like
cooking, cleaning and working
in a garden, are instances that
can move us. This simple act
of meeting with a friend or ac-
knowledging the change of a
season can provide a moment
of inspiration, awe and self-dis-
covery. Finally, we remember
homecomings, our ancestors,
our families and places that have
led us to one realization or an-
other.
There is so much material in
this book that is inspirational,
it is rather difficult to explain;
however, if you've ever wanted
a true glimpse into the female
experience, this book has a mul-
titude of riches for you to find.
Published by Wild Girl Publish-
ing, this book is available at your lo-
cal bookstore or www.sisterssinging.
com.
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard
ThE 21-dAy
COnsCIOusnEss ClEAnsE
A Breakthrough Program for
Connecting with Your Soul's
Deepest Purpose
By Debbie Ford
By committing to twenty-
days and nights toward build-
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