In this poignant tale, Jong interweaves the narrator’s sexual experience in her sixties with tales of her formerly glamorous parents as their health fails. As my own mother told me when she was in her nineties and I was in my sixties, “Enjoy your youth.”
Jong’s protagonist is determined to do just that. She works hard to reclaim the joys of her long-term marriage, and dances to the siren music of potential affairs. Ripe women have been dancing that tightrope for centuries without the benefit of literary models; Jong’s art makes visible what has been invisible. For those of us determined to prioritize our own erotic and creative lives, even while doing our best for aging parents and young adult children, this book holds up a mirror to the lives we are leading.