By Susan Pohlman
What is “midlife”? How does it affect perspectives, relationships, family, priorities, goals, self-worth and expectations? Is “midlife” a state of mind or a number? What do we do once we find ourselves approaching this new season of life, and how?
These questions and more percolate throughout Susan Pohlman’s touching and incisive memoir, A Time to Seek. Beautifully written and spiritually sensitive, the narrative invites readers to join the author as she returns to Italy, the site of a significant turning point in her life as she hits another major life milestone: middle age.
Using Ecclesiastes 3 as her framework, Pohlman gently guides readers through her week-long trip through Italy. Stops include art galleries, cathedrals, and ristorantes. Old friendships are renewed. Fresh perspectives are shared. Gelato is eaten. Discoveries are made, both internal and external. The journey is thus both contemplative and familiar, undergirded with a sense of grace and joy that’s contagious.
While traveling “the beautiful country,” the author seeks inspiration and clarity in an authentic, honest manner that will resonate with midlife readers (and pretty much anyone else who’s vertical and breathing.) For example, Pohlman describes “an underlying awareness that at this tender time (midlife) we are searching for meaning, authenticity, and a redefining of our relationship with and contribution to the Universe. We want reassurance that our life choices have been worth the ride, and, if not, that it’s not too late to change.”
Call it a “lightbulb moment.” An epiphany. Something effervescent and even a little extraordinary. A gentle reminder that you’re not alone on the midlife road.
Drenched in lyrical prose with pitch-perfect pacing, pages brim with tender reminders that “midlife” can open a door to new beginnings, second chances, and potential as bright as a Tuscan sunrise.
Heartfelt & Profound
It’s been a long time since I read anything this heartfelt and profound. Deftly deploying wisdom, faith, reverence and beauty, A Time to Seek offers a touch of grace both powerful and poignant. There are no trite cliches here. No canned answers or warmed-over leftovers. Just authentic, honest questions. Searching. Finding. Losing and keeping. Quiet observations. All are set against the dramatic backdrop and kaleidoscopic colors of the Bel Paese.
If it’s been a while since a book lit an internal flame, consider A Time to Seek. You might want to grab a candle. Cuz this one’s a keeper. Bellissimo!
Our Rating: 5.0
Also reviewed at Reedsy/Discovery.