Growing Old

Growing Old

By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

(224 pages, biography, 2020)


Although we don’t like to think about it, we all grow older. Maybe you are on that threshold or know someone who is already there. Wherever you may be in the process, you will enjoy Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’ humor on the subject of growing old with grace and dignity.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is a New Hampshire author. She has spent her life observing animal behavior and world cultures. Thomas has written articles for National Geographic, The Atlantic and The New York Times. She is also the author of seven books, both nonfiction and fiction, including The Hidden Life of Dogs, The Harmless People, and Reindeer Moon.

When asked, “Why write a book about old age? Nobody wants it. Nobody likes it,” she writes, “The aging process is an essential part of the human story, and not for the faint-hearted. It’s as strange as it is captivating – a venture to the unknown.”

Thomas, who is 88 years old, offers an honest take on what old age is really like. She covers a variety of topics: stereotyping the elderly as burdensome, physical changes your body goes through as you age, independent living, assisted living, home health aides, and the pitfalls of living alone. She encourages everyone, old and young, to prepare for death and to leave final wishes in written form.

Thomas shares both the good and the bad of growing old. She believes that old people are smarter than young people because they more deeply and clearly understand the world around them, and are better able to interpret their surroundings, due to all they’ve learned. At times funny, at times deadly serious, Growing Old is part memoir and part handbook on the whole aging process. Not only could this book be helpful, and amusing to those of us trying to maneuver through the aging process, but it could also help younger people understand and assist their elderly parents.

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Linda Jones

Author: Insider Staff

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