Midlife Mavericks: Women Reinventing Their Lives In Mexico

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Reviewed by Teresa Kendrick

Midlife Mavericks: Women reinventing their lives in Mexico
Written by Karen Blue

In her first non-fiction book, Midlife Mavericks, author Karen Blue presents the stories of nineteen American and Canadian women who left their countries, families, and cultural roles to begin new lives in Mexico.

In elegantly framed vignettes, unmarried women in the second halves of their lives are gently seduced by the author to reveal the whispered heartbreaks, deep dissatisfactions, lusty machisma, and unapologetic wanderlust that drove them southward and inward into what was for them uncharted territory.

“Like so many twists and turns in our lives, change and purpose are often inspired by a single comment, a single question,” Blue writes, intertwining the thread that connects the stories with her own-that of a burned-out Silicon Valley executive weary of climbing the corporate ladder.

You will recognize these women even if you’ve never met them. They’re women who found themselves unwilling to embrace the values of owning more and achieving more as their sole reward for a lifetime of labor. Like Angie, who ran a personnel agency and grew tired of the rat race of northern North America with its endless emphasis on consumerism. And Carol, 53, an administrator for a law firm who was tired, stressed and desperately wanted a change in lifestyle. Or Anna, a prestigious New York city attorney who traded her lucrative lifestyle to pursue a career in fine art.

Others came on the heels of some heartbreak or setback, like Maggie, whose husband left her after 29 years of marriage. Or Penny who, late in life, was swindled out of her life savings by her financial advisor. And Dakota, a nurse, whose hospital cast her aside, penniless, when she suffered a silent stroke. Or Sharon who relied on anti-depressants to get her through the long Canadian winters.

And then you’ll read about the Indiana “Joans,” incurable romantics who could not bear the thought of growing old quietly. Daring the objections of family and friends, these women set out to realize their most cherished dreams of adventure, travel, and the experience of a new culture. For some, like Diane, early retirement allowed her to dream new dreams of peace and serenity, far from the reality of her native New York City.

As each woman’s tale unfolds, readers become privy to the phenomenon that occurs when a woman loses her identity in one culture and is forced to rediscover it in another. Woven within astonishing revelations of serendipity and providential circumstances, Blue’s subjects share the challenges of their immigrant experiences-language barriers, peculiar customs, alien expectations, financial concerns, the creaking bureaucracy of an emerging country, and the tightrope waltz of romantic entanglements. Common pitfalls as well as the practical details of living in Mexico emerge as a side benefit for the reader as each woman shares her adjustments to life on foreign soil.

Against the backdrop of the author’s graceful prose, the experiences of its mavericks in finding, reclaiming and redefining the most authentic parts of themselves will inspire you. You’ll marvel as ordinary women reshape the traditional boundaries of the midlife woman.

Without reservation, I recommend that you buy this book and then give a copy to someone you care about. It is the consummate gift for sisters, mothers and women friends who are seeking to restore the meaning of their lives.

Midlife Mavericks is available online at www.mexicoblue.homestead.com. ISBN number is 1-58112-719-7.
The book is published by Universal Publishers and is 200 pages.
The price for the trade paperback edition is $19.95 U.S.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Teresa Kendrick © 2008
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