where the writers are
Starting Over
Published Work: 
Rhoda: Her First Ninety Years

Rhoda Curtis has turned starting over into an art form. I knew I had to read “Rhoda: Her First Ninety Years” after seeing the blurb on the back cover: “Six careers. Three husbands. Many lovers.” At the age of 71 I too am starting over, having just left a 44 year marriage. Rhoda’s book is a case study in rebellion and resilience and provides anyone coming off a long-term relationship or changing careers with a survival handbook of sorts, and assures us that it’s not over until it’s over. There are many multi-career, serial monogamist elders out there right now, with many more riding the tidal wave of baby boomers into AARP land. Reading “Rhoda” gave me a keen awareness of life as a game of Whac-A-Mole, with me as the mole. Perpetually popping up is kind of fun, but getting whacked back down takes some getting used to. Rhoda has had more than her share of whacks, and has become masterful at outwitting the whacker. If I might be allowed to mix my carnival metaphors, I think she would also be great at Dodge‘em Cars. She can take a hit and give as good as she gets. Don’t mess with this lady. She doesn’t just bounce back, she rockets back with vim and vigor and reaches even higher. Nothing stops her. Not being ostracized by her family, not illness, not the infidelity of others, not business failure, not tragic loss, not her own suicide attempt. She takes responsibility for her choices in life and never loses her sense of adventure and drive for competence. If she’s going to do something, she’s going to do it well. Now at ninety she is pursuing her latest iteration as author with passion and the same intense creativity and search for excellence she applied to journalism, fashion design and teaching. If this book is any indication, we are in for more treats from Rhoda’s sophisticated, yet down-to-earth prose.