Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting; Anna Quindlen



AUTHOR:  Anna Quindlen
PUBLISHER:  Random House
PUB. YEAR: 2019
SETTING:  n/a - (NYC mentioned)
FORMAT:  - eGalley
RATING - 4.5/5

In Nanaville, Anna Quindlen perfectly hits the nail on the head when she relates her personal experiences of being a first-time grandparent in her early 60's, when her son and wife welcomed, their first child, little Arthur, into the world.  Here are some of the thought provoking passages which resonated with me. I'm not a "Nana" but, I have been a Grammy" for these last 7 years:

QUOTES

Nanaville is "a place I wound up inhabiting without ever knowing it was what I wanted, needed or was working toward." Your children, by having children, make you a grandparent: that fate is not in your hands. But the choice of what kind of grandparent to be is.

It's a complicated relationship, being a good grandparent, because it hinges on a series of other relationships. It's and odd combination of being very experienced and totally green.  I know how to raise a child, but I need to learn how to help my child raise his own.  Where I once commanded, now I need to ask permission.  Where I once led, I have to learn to follow.  For years I had strong opinions for a living. Now I need to wait until I'm asked for them, and modulate them most of the time

Most of us entered the parental enterprise with one of two impulses: to be much like our own mother or father as possible or to be unlike them in every conceivable way...

All I know is: The hand. The little hand that takes yours, small and soft as feathers. I'm happy our grandson does not yet have a sophisticated language or a working knowledge of personal finance, because if he took my hand and said, "Nana, could you sign your 401(k) over to me?" I can imagine myself thinking, well, I don't really need a retirement fund, do I?

Nana judgment must be employed judiciously, and exercised carefully.  Be warned:  those who make their opinions sound like the Ten Commandments see their grandchildren only on major holidays and in photographs.

Families are crucibles of so much that shapes and steers and, sometimes, damages us.  It's odd when you look at animals and realize that once puppies have been weaned and have grown, their mother doesn't seem to recognize any trace relationship with them.  That's not true of humans for good and for ill....

Beautifully written and not overly sentimental, this short 172 book is delightful.  Grab a copy for a Mother's Day gift for the special grandmother in your life.

20 comments:

  1. I'm not a grandmother but think this sounds very sweet.

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    1. Quindlen does this one so well; she captures the special feelings beautifully.

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  2. I love being a grandparent, one of life's best gifts!

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    1. It is, I loved them as babies and toddlers but even more fun as they start school.

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  3. Those were the days, when the first grandchild came along!

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    1. Yes, I didn't think I'd be a grammy but then 3 little girls in less than 3 years.

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    2. I didn't think I would be either, and then 3 little kids in 19 months!

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  4. This sounds like a lovely book, even though I haven't been promoted to grandmother yet.

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  5. I've ordered it! Will be back to read this when I've read it. You and I love being in Nanaville, don't we!!!!

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  6. Wasn't this just a wonderful book?! As you know, I loved it and marked several of the same quotes. It's a keeper!

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  7. Anna Quinlan is wonderful and this book sounds so great. I am not a nana, grandma, or granny yet (and I hope it's a very long time since my daughter is only 18!), but I may buy this for my mom.

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  8. I always enjoy Anna Quindlen, especially her nonfiction!

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