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When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? Indignities, Compromises, and the Unexpected Grace of MIDLIFE

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Indignities, Compromises, and the Unexpected Grace of MIDLIFE
When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?
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From writer and veteran columnist Jennifer Grant comes an unflinching and spirited look at the transitions of midlife. When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? plumbs the physical, spiritual, and emotional changes unique to the middle years: from the emptying nest to the sagging effects of aging. Grant acknowledges the complexities and loss inherent in midlife and tells stories of sustaining disappointment, taking hard blows to the ego, undergoing a crisis of faith, and grieving the deaths not only of illusions but of loved ones. Yet she illuminates the confidence and grace that this season of life can also bring. Magnetic, good-humored, and full of hope in the sustaining power of the Spirit, this is a must-read for anyone facing the flux and flow of middle age.

Free downloadable study guide available here.

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Format: Paperback book
Product code: MM80131
Dimensions: 5½" x 8½"
Length: 192 pages
MennoMedia / Herald Press
ISBN: 9781513801315
Written by Jennifer Grant


An unreservedly recommended read.
Review: Midwest Book Review
It’s rare to read someone who is as honest as Jennifer Grant is. In a time that’s full to overflowing with easy, posturing confessions, this is a necessary, awakening memoir.
Jon Sweeney, coauthor of Mixed-Up Love and editor of Phyllis Tickle: Essential Spiritual Writingscoauthor of Mixed-Up Love and editor of Phyllis Tickle: Essential coauthor of Mixed-Up Love and editor of Phyllis Tickle: Essential Spiritual Writings
Delightful and poignant . . . a book to cherish and to share with those you love.
Dale Bourke, author of Embracing Your Second Calling
Jennifer Grant is fiercely tender, funny, passionate about family, faithful, and hungry for justice. Read this book!
Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms and a top ten 2016 CNN Hero
A simply magnificent meditation on middle age . . . an obvious labor of love and joy that appears like a friend at your side and starts walking with you, doling out stories that will make you roar with laughter, bring tears to your eyes, impart practical wisdom, and make you absolutely sure that you are not alone in this.
Cathleen Falsani, journalist and author of The God Factor
This beautiful book belongs on every woman’s nightstand (probably alongside her favorite jar of wrinkle cream).
Katherine Pershey, author of Very Married
Jennifer Grant’s shimmering prose, soulful observations, wit, and insight make her an apt companion as we move through this necessary life stage of change and growth.
Michelle Van Loon, author of Moments and Days
Jennifer Grant manages to convey the trials of midlife with both realism and hope. This memoir, unexpectedly, helped me look forward to experiencing my forties and fifties.
Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, author of Start, Love, Repeat
The perfect companion to walk with on this road through the unexpected joy and grief of middle age.
Carla Barnhill, author of The Myth of the Perfect Mother
Readers will find a true friend in Jennifer Grant’s beautifully crafted memoir of her forties. Highly recommended!
Keri Kent, author of Deeply Loved and Godspace
A brilliant memoir about the harshness and freedom of midlife. Bonus: A writer who can work Richard Rohr, Martha Stewart, and David Sedaris into one book must be read.
Lesa Engelthaler, writer and nonprofit executive recruiter
Hilarious and heartbreaking . . . a must-read for anyone who seeks to savor this amazing season of life.
Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Broke
I didn’t know how much I needed this book until I read it. It gave me much-needed language for midlife’s bruising and beautiful change. Grant’s memoir is tender and funny in all the right places, and I can’t wait to recommend it to friends!
Jen Michel, author of Teach Us to Want and Keeping Place


Jennifer Grant is a writer, editor, and speaker. A former health and family columnist for the Chicago Tribune, she is the author of four previous books, including the adoption memoir Love You More. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, four children, and two rescue dogs. Find her online at or on Twitter @jennifercgrant.