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Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life- Review

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

Book Author: Gail Sheehy

5 Reasons You Should Read This Book Today

  1. Gain insights into the different stages of adult life: Passages offers a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities of different stages of adult life. Sheehy's analysis is based on hundreds of interviews with men and women across the United States and draws on her own personal experiences, offering valuable insights into the complexities of adult development.

  2. Challenge traditional notions of adulthood: Passages challenges the traditional notion of adulthood as a linear progression, offering a more nuanced and complex view of adult life. Readers will gain a new perspective on their own experiences and relationships and come away with a greater understanding of the diversity of human experience.

  3. Empower yourself for personal growth: Passages offers a roadmap for personal growth and self-discovery. Readers can use Sheehy's insights to navigate the transitions and crises of adult life, from the uncertainties of early adulthood to the challenges of midlife and beyond. The book offers practical advice and guidance for achieving personal fulfillment and success.

  4. Historical significance: Passages is historically significant for its candid discussion of taboo topics like sex, career, and identity. When the book was first published in 1976, it challenged traditional views of adulthood and became a cultural phenomenon. Reading Passages is not just an opportunity to learn from Sheehy's analysis, but also to understand the context of the time in which it was written.

  5. Universal relevance: Passages speaks to the universal experiences of self-discovery, growth, and change that are part of the human experience. Readers of all ages and backgrounds can find insights and guidance in Sheehy's words, making it a book that will inspire and empower readers for generations to come.




Summary

assages by Gail Sheehy is a groundbreaking book that explores the different stages of adult development. Sheehy's insightful analysis of human behavior and psychology is based on her interviews with hundreds of men and women in the United States, and her personal experiences.


The book is divided into nine chapters, each focusing on a different stage of adult development. Sheehy identifies the stages as the "trying twenties," "catch-30," "deadline 35," "sustainment," "mid-life transition," "catching up," "second adolescence," "the settling down 40s and 50s," and "liberation."


In the "trying twenties" chapter, Sheehy explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood, and how young adults struggle with finding their identity, establishing relationships, and finding their place in the world. Sheehy suggests that many young adults in their twenties experience a crisis of confidence, where they question their abilities and feel uncertain about their future.


The "catch-30" chapter focuses on the challenges that many people face as they approach their thirties. Sheehy notes that many people in their thirties are juggling career, family, and personal growth, which can be overwhelming. She suggests that the key to successfully navigating this stage is to set priorities and make conscious choices.


In the "deadline 35" chapter, Sheehy explores the pressure that many people feel to achieve certain milestones by the age of 35, such as getting married, having children, or achieving career success. She notes that this pressure can be particularly acute for women, who may feel that their biological clock is ticking.


The "sustainment" chapter focuses on the period of stability that many people experience in their forties and fifties. Sheehy suggests that this stage is an opportunity for personal growth and reflection, as people have the time and resources to pursue their interests and passions.


In the "mid-life transition" chapter, Sheehy explores the challenges and opportunities of the so-called mid-life crisis. She suggests that this stage can be a time of profound personal growth, as people reevaluate their priorities and make significant changes in their lives.


The "catching up" chapter focuses on the challenges that many people face as they approach retirement age. Sheehy notes that many people in their fifties and sixties feel that they have not accomplished everything they wanted to in their lives, and may feel pressure to make up for lost time.


The "second adolescence" chapter explores the challenges and opportunities of retirement. Sheehy suggests that retirement can be a time of renewal, as people have the freedom to pursue their interests and passions without the constraints of work.


In the "settling down 40s and 50s" chapter, Sheehy explores the challenges of balancing work, family, and personal growth in middle age. She suggests that this stage can be an opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment, as people have the experience and wisdom to make conscious choices about their lives.


Finally, in the "liberation" chapter, Sheehy explores the challenges and opportunities of aging. She suggests that aging can be a time of personal liberation, as people have the perspective and wisdom to live life on their own terms.


Overall, Passages is a compelling and insightful book that offers a unique perspective on adult development. Sheehy's analysis is based on extensive research and personal experience, and her writing is engaging and accessible. Whether you are in your twenties, thirties, forties, or beyond, Passages offers valuable insights and guidance for navigating the challenges and opportunities of adult life.


Raves

The reviews for "Passages" by Gail Sheehy on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive, with a majority of reviewers awarding the book a five-star rating.


One reviewer describes the book as "a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the stages of adult development." They praise Sheehy's insightful analysis and engaging writing style, and note that the book offers valuable guidance for navigating the challenges and opportunities of adult life.


Another reviewer writes that "Passages" is "an excellent book that provides valuable insights into the human experience." They praise Sheehy's research and personal experiences, and note that the book offers practical advice for managing life transitions.


A third reviewer notes that "Passages" is "an essential book for anyone who wants to understand themselves and their relationships." They praise Sheehy's approachable writing style and thoughtful analysis, and note that the book offers a unique perspective on adult development.


Overall, the reviews suggest that "Passages" is a valuable and insightful book that offers practical guidance for navigating the challenges and opportunities of adult life. Readers praise Sheehy's research, personal experiences, and engaging writing style, and note that the book offers a unique perspective on the stages of adult development.


Critiques

The reviews for "Passages" by Gail Sheehy on Amazon also include some critical reviews, with a minority of reviewers awarding the book a one-star rating.


One reviewer writes that they found the book "outdated" and "not relevant" to modern life. They note that Sheehy's analysis is based on interviews conducted in the 1970s, and argue that the book does not reflect the realities of contemporary adult life.


Another reviewer criticizes the book for its "stereotypical" and "reductive" portrayals of different life stages. They argue that Sheehy's analysis is oversimplified and fails to take into account the complexities and diversity of human experience.


A third reviewer writes that they found the book "unhelpful" and "uninspiring." They note that Sheehy's writing style is overly academic and inaccessible, and argue that the book does not offer practical advice for managing life transitions.


Overall, the critical reviews suggest that "Passages" may not be relevant or helpful for all readers. Some reviewers criticize the book for its outdated or oversimplified analysis, while others find the writing style inaccessible or unhelpful.



Fan FaQs

Gail Sheehy is an American author and journalist best known for her groundbreaking book "Passages," which explores the different stages of adult development. She was born in Mamaroneck, New York, in 1937, and grew up in a family of Irish immigrants.


After graduating from the University of Vermont, Sheehy began her career as a journalist, working for various publications including The New York Herald Tribune and New York Magazine. She quickly gained a reputation for her insightful reporting and thoughtful analysis of social and cultural issues.


In the 1970s, Sheehy began work on "Passages," which would become her most famous and influential book. Based on hundreds of interviews with men and women across the United States, the book offers a unique perspective on adult development and the challenges and opportunities of different life stages.


Over the course of her career, Sheehy has written numerous other books on a wide range of topics, including politics, gender, and aging. She has also been a frequent commentator on television and radio programs, and has won numerous awards for her journalism and writing.


Throughout her life, Sheehy has been a passionate advocate for women's rights and social justice. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, and has been a vocal supporter of political and social causes.


Her work has had a profound impact on millions of readers, and she remains one of the most influential and respected voices in American journalism and literature.

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Other Works

  • "The Silent Passage: Menopause" (1992): A groundbreaking book that explores the physical, emotional, and psychological changes that women experience during menopause. The book was praised for its empathetic approach and its candid discussion of a topic that had long been stigmatized and misunderstood.

  • "New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across Time" (1995): A follow-up to "Passages," this book explores the challenges and opportunities of midlife and beyond. Sheehy draws on interviews with men and women in their fifties, sixties, and beyond to offer insights into the transitions and transformations of later life.

  • "Hillary's Choice" (1999): A biography of Hillary Clinton that explores her personal and political evolution. The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at Clinton's life and career, and is praised for its insight into the complexities of American politics and gender relations.

  • "Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the Passionate Life" (2006): A candid and empowering book that challenges stereotypes and taboos about sexuality and aging. Sheehy draws on interviews with women in their fifties, sixties, and beyond to offer advice and guidance for maintaining a fulfilling sex life in later life.

  • "Daring: My Passages" (2014): Sheehy's memoir, which reflects on her life and career as a journalist and author. The book offers a personal and intimate look at the challenges and opportunities of adult life, and is praised for its wit, wisdom, and honesty.


 

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