Buy Used
$3.79
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Breaking Point: How Female Midlife Crisis Is Transforming Today's Women Hardcover – March 10, 2005


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$1.54 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

O's Little Book of Happiness
"O's Little Book of Happiness"
A collection of thoughtful and affecting writing on happiness-the first in a series of inspirational books from O. Magazine. Learn more | More in Self-Help

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (April 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805077111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805077117
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,501,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Shellenbarger wrote about her midlife crisis in one of her Wall Street Journal "Work & Family" columns, reader response was overwhelming. So she decided to investigate those "psychological and spiritual upheavals [that] have been mistaken for menopause symptoms and reduced to a biological phenomenon." Relying on interviews with 50 women between their late 30s and mid-50s and four studies of aging—and heavily indebted to a Jungian perspective—this catchy work is tailor-made for the "36% of women who will eventually have what they regard as midlife crises" (and it's right up the Oprah and Dr. Phil alley, too). Shellenbarger delineates six archetypes: the Adventurer, the Lover, the Leader, the Artist, the Gardener and the Seeker, who meet the crisis through six modes of transition (Sonic Boom, Moderate, Slow Burn, Flameout, Meltdown and Non-Starter). Contrary to popular wisdom, Shellenbarger says, "the vital juices of joy, sexuality, and self-discovery are bubbling within, more powerfully and compellingly than ever" at midlife. The Artist might rediscover her creativity; the Gardener, who "focuses deeply on the elements of the life she already has," might look for ways to revitalize old interests. The road to personal growth can be bumpy, Shellenbarger writes (and sometimes it's hard to distinguish it from "the path to perdition"), but her book offers an illuminating guide. Agent, Amanda Urban. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Every once in a while you read a book that transforms you. Like the shift of a kaleidoscope, it reconfigures your view of life's journey. This is such a book. It may stimulate you to change directions, perhaps even enable you to find life's greatest joy: fulfillment. An invigorating read."
-- Helen Fisher, Author of Why We Love

Customer Reviews

This book answered many questions I had in my own mind.
lc
The case studies were not that helpful to me, and they composed the majority of the book.
Pamuella F. Mann
This is a must read book for any woman approaching mid-life or well into it!
LP58

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a career consultant who works with midlife professionals, and a fan of Sue Shellenbarger, I was eager to read The Breaking Point. And mostly I was not disappointed.

I like the way Shellenbarger treats midlife crisis respectfully, rather than comparing midlife to a "second adolescence." She begins by exploring her own motivation and then sets out to understand the research in the field. I am familiar with the work of Professor Elaine Wethington, who is quoted to set the stage for a research perspective. However, I wish the author had reviewed other research and other respected authors, such as Jean Shinoda Bolen's work on goddesses of midlife.

Additionally, I was impressed that the author has interviewed fifty women. And, like many reporters, she makes her points by narrative rather than summing up.

On the other hand, I felt the book's organization could have been tighter. Shellenbarger identifies six archetypes: lover, adventurer, leader, gardener, artist and seeker. The book spends about 30 pages on the lover archetype, which Shellenbarger describes as potentially dangerous, and 15 pages each on the other archetypes. Was the lover predominant in her own study? Or did she (and the editors) believe this archetype would draw the greatest interest from readers?

It would have been interesting to get at least two or three stories for each archetype. The Gardener, for instance, is represented only by "Melanie." Following a series of career mistakes and miscarriages, the author writes, "For most of her adult life, Melanie...regarded herself as a 'happpy, active sensible person with a couople of good friends, a good marriage and a loveable son.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Garrett on July 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me and I foolishly bought it without checking the reviews on amazon. That'll teach me! I should have borrowed the book from the library and saved the money for a really useful book. I am a white middle class 53 year old woman with a rollercoaster of a past. I did not feel a connection with any of the (probably) white upper middle to upper class women who had untapped talents and had been personally selected by the author or had referred to her for inclusion in this "study" (and I use the term loosely). I am coping with middle age just fine without breaking a collarbone or having sex with multiple partners. What do I have common with the CEOs or most of the other women in this book? Nada. Well, the lesson I learned from this book was not the one the author intended: check the amazon reviews before I buy a book!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michelle M. Zive on July 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm a 41-year-old woman who has already gone through a midlife crisis. Ten years ago there were no books like Shellenbarger's to "help" me with my process. Instead all we had were examples of men's midlife crisis, including the purchasing of red convertible sports cars and divorcing their wives for some hot, young thing. Shellenbarger sheds light on not only the reasons behind women's midlife crisis but also the ways "we" handle this time in our lives. I'm fascinated by the six different archetypes, or the passions women are drawn to as a result of their crisis, including the lover, adventurer, leader, artist, internal gardener, seeker and artist, that Shellenbarger found in her research. Although a word of caution here, the research is more like sitting around a table and talking with a group of friends than taking a poll of a 1000 women about this phenomenon. But that's what makes the book interesting and readable, you'll perhaps recognize yourself or your friends or family members in these women's stories.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Marren VINE VOICE on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For years Sue Shellenbarger has written a "Work and Family" column for the Wall Street Journal, one of the first to focus on the practical consequences of juggling careers and home. She's not a psychologist or sociologist, and doesn't pretend this is a scientific study. Rather, she tells the stories of women who reach the mid-point of their lives and find that somehow it doesn't work anymore. It's much more than menopause, the empty nest syndrome or a mid-life crisis. The author lays out six "archetypes"--representing six types of change women seek--the leader, the lover, the adventurer, etc. It made sense to me--I know far too many women who reach mid-life and abandon successful careers and start new ones, travel--with or without spouse, begin new ventures or new businesses.

When I was 40, I attended my husband's 35th college reunion--he and his classmates were in their mid-50's. I listened in on a women's breakfast meeting, and heard thrilling stories one after the other from women who were soaring, having finally completed child-rearing and the struggles to establish careers. What was going on I wondered?--being only 40, they'd seemed old to me. Now I understand!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Seward on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book reminds me of another book on the same subject by Martha Beck called Breaking Point: Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Re-crete their Lives. I was very surprised at this similarity. Beck's book puts the situation into a well articulated social, political, historical and economic context. While Shellenbarger's seems to be more of just the stories. I'd recommend both for people to compare and enhance their understanding of the topic.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?