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The wishing year : a house, a man, my soul : a memoir of fulfilled desire
Oxenhandler, Noelle
Adult Nonfiction BF575.D4 O94 2008

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The year she turned 50, Oxenhandler (The Eros of Parenthood) deeply longed for three things: a house, a man and spiritual healing. This memoir tells of her 12-month attempt to fulfill these longings while reflecting on "the quintessentially human act of wishing," with all its power and pitfalls. She goes house hunting, visits places of spiritual sanctuary and nurtures a new relationship--all while struggling to overcome her tendency to be a "terrible wish snob" who balks at the notion of voicing worldly and altruistic wishes together in the same breath, of mixing the profane and the divine more generally. She considers wishing in its broader contexts: mythology, American history, folktales, theology, superstition, philosophy, New Age and psychology. Her philosophy/religious-studies education, guilt-prone sensibility (she's half-Jewish and was raised Catholic) and 30-year history as a practicing Buddhist complicate her careful study and make for a smart read. Oxenhandler does little to resolve or even fully explore the crises that set her on her quest (seven years earlier, an affair ended her marriage as well as her place in her spiritual community), and her pat conclusions hardly match the strength of the work as a whole. Nonetheless, readers will enjoy watching Oxenhandler realize her dreams through diligence, hard work and a "willing suspension of disbelief" in the captivating magic of wishing. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Oxenhandler, whose essays have been published in The New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, knew the time had come to make changes in her life. While she understood intellectually that life is change, she also feared that change might set the universe into some kind of weird motion she couldn't control. For this memoir, Oxenhandler researched anything and everything having to do with wishing, from the ancients' ideas on wishful thinking to current notions on the "laws of attraction." She writes of how, despite her doubts, she eventually realized her wishes--for a healed soul, a new love, and, more tangibly, the two-bedroom/one-and-a-half-bath house of her dreams--and how she moved on from there. The ways in which her wishes came true make for both joyful and humorous reading. Those who enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love or Oxenhandler's earlier works, A Grief Out of Season and The Eros of Parenthood, will want this title. Recommended for all libraries with large collections of popular reading. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/08.]--Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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