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The May Queen: Women on Life, Love, Work, and Pulling It All Together in Your 30s Paperback – March 23, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In these previously unpublished essays, writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, actors and businesswomen in their 30s take stock of their lives and "consider what they have lost, what they have gained, and what they still need to learn." Ivy Meeropol discusses making a documentary about her grandparents Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were in their 30s when they were executed for treason in 1953. Heather Juergensen wonders if she'll be the type of actor who takes the risk of aging naturally; and Veronica Chambers, who is now happily married after ignoring the advice of countless self-help dating books, knows that it's "okay to fall head over heels for one loser after another." Flor Morales, who runs a housecleaning service, fled an alcoholic husband in El Salvador for a new life in California; and prochoice activist Jennifer Baumgardner never considered an abortion when she learned she was unexpectedly pregnant, while Tanya Shaffer scrapped her plans for artificial insemination when the right man proposed marriage. This perceptive if uneven collection gathered by freelance writer and editor Richesin will speak frankly to 30-something readers as they make critical decisions about their own lives. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Andrea N. Richesin began work on The May Queen on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, and has been talking to women from all walks of life about this critical decade in their lives for the last four years. A writer and editor, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; First Edition edition (March 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585424676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585424672
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,271,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrea N. Richesin is the editor of four anthologies, Crush: 26 Real-life Tales of First Love; What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their Daughters; Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond and The May Queen: Women on Life, Love, Work and Pulling It All Together In Your 30s. Her anthologies have been excerpted and praised in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Redbook, Parenting, Cosmopolitan, Bust, Good Housekeeping, and Babble. Visit her online at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mom VINE VOICE on May 4, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will have to say this is probably my favorite book in 2006 so far. The essays are wonderfully written and thoughtfully put together. I am sad that I finished this book but am glad that I have it in my personal library. If you're looking for a beautiful gift to give to the reader in your life, this book is it.

These essays are written by women who are in their 30s. They cover over everything; marriage, love, babies, work, relationships with past lovers, family and so on. Some of these writers have written so intimately of their experiences that you find yourself nodding your head and saying, yes. I know what you mean. Others have written beautifully of their dreams, their relationships with their parents and spouses, friends. I can honestly say that there is no writer in there that I did not enjoy. I can try to pick favorites but really can't. They all have shared their intimate thoughts about turning 30 and they all reflect my thoughts as well.

The only thing I disagreed with is that publishing houses is being in your 20s is the prime of life. Not really. I have found that when I turned 30, my life have come together. My writing has come together. I became a wife at 32 and a mother a month shy of turning 33. I know that I appreciate life and everything MORE than I ever did in my 20s. In fact, I don't remember my 20s as well because all I did was play. I worked in menial jobs till I was in my late 20s when I finally got started on my career.

Each and every one of the writers in this book has a unique writing style.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Helmes on March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been dreading my 30s since my youth, when that television show, "Thirtysomething," depicted people in this age range as neurotic, self-involved, stressed-out, OLD, and generally, pretty miserable. I grudgingly entered my 30s repeating the desperate mantra: "It's the new 20s!" But after reading The May Queen, I can now embrace my age with an entirely new regard for this portion of my life. The essays in this book are witty, contemplative, and entirely relatable. It's a great read that will make you think about where you've been and where you are going -- and will make you feel a lot more comfortable in your 30-year-old skin. This book is also a great gift idea!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Holly73 on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's refreshing to find that I'm not the only one making mistakes and trying to learn from them. It is easy to get lost in your own life and feel confused about the path you're on. I am glad I had this opportunity to read the stories of other women trying to find their "grown-up" selves and succeeding - sometimes in different ways than they expected. It helped me to remember that anything could happen and to be excited about that. I truly enjoyed it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Meryl K. Evans on June 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Turning 30 wasn't as I had hoped. Being the youngest of three by a gap, I was used to feeling young and always younger than everyone else. As I entered my thirties, I felt depressed whenever the ages of a football star, actor, or big shot manager appeared in an article. They were such big successes and not even 30. There I was, in my thirties believing I had accomplished little outside of raising a family. After all, anyone can become a parent and not anyone can become a CEO or best-selling author.

Reading each story, my reactions ranged from "I've been there!" and "I remember that!" to "Never been through that, thankfully, but I understand." And "OK, maybe being 30 had good points."

In reading books like these, a collection of true and intimate stories, you sense that you're there listening to a best friend or being a fly on the wall hearing stuff that you would otherwise never hear. Great collections do just that and The May Queen succeeds. Any gal in her thirties will feel less solitary while reading the stories.

Flor Morales shared her experience of going back and forth between El Salvador and California where her family shamed her for cheating on her husband, an alcoholic. She proceeded to tell her tale of crossing the border for good to pursue a better life with another man.

In my twenties, I wanted to climb the corporate ladder as high as I could go. But my expectations started toppling after my second child arrived when I was 29 and not a manager. Slowly, I began to change wanting instead to climb the family ladder with an occasional nudge from a career success.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Katie H. McCorkle on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you're at all like me then you're unadmittedly hesitant to read this book because, by reading it, you'll have to face the fact that you're in your 30s and want to read a book like this! But it's okay...take a deep breath, put on your jammies, heat a pot of tea and I promise, you will not be sorry. You will enjoy getting to know each woman as she gives us a glimpse of her personal thoughts and life experiences.

As a schoolteacher just starting this 3rd decade of my life, I lead a very different life from most of the women in this book, yet, I surprisingly found myself identifying with each woman's perspective in a unique way.

If you're constantly on the go like I am with snippets of time here and there (Heat a pot of tea? How about a to-go mug?) you can enjoy each vignette separately. I've always loved both the beginning and endings of books and this one offers 27 of these! Happy Reading!
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