The Breaking Point

How Female Midlife Crisis Is Transforming Today's Women

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In the tradition of The Second Shift, a groundbreaking work that identifies and explains the phenomenon poised to redefine our culture.

When Sue Shellenbarger wrote about her midlife crisis in her award-winning Wall Stree

When Sue Shellenbarger wrote about her midlife crisis in her award-winning Wall Street Journal "Work & Family" column, the volume and emotional intensity of the responses from her readers was stunning. As she heard story after story of middle-aged women radically changing course in search of greater fulfillment, a trend began to emerge: an entire generation of women was experiencing the tumultuous transition of midlife in ways not seen before.

To capture this paradigm shift, Shellenbarger combines original research data and interviews with more than fifty women who've navigated their own midlife crises. Long stereotyped as the province of men, today the midlife crisis is reported with greater frequency by women than men. Emboldened by the financial independence to act upon midlife desires, exhausted by decades of playing supermom and repressing the feminine sides of themselves to succeed at work, women are shedding the age roles of the past in favor of new pursuits in adventure, sports, sex, romance, education, and spirituality. And in the process they are rewriting all the rules.

Beyond defining a new phenomenon, The Breaking Point shows how various options women use to cope with the turmoil of midlife - from playing it safe to dynamiting their lives - have a profound impact on their families, careers, and our culture at large. Provocative, insightful, and resonant, The Breaking Point is sure to be one of the most controversial and talked-about publications of 2005.

Unabridged audiobook on 6 audio CDs, about 6.5 hours.
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