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As Time Goes By: Boomerang Marriages, Serial Spouses, Throwback Couples, and Other Romantic Adventures in an Age of Longevity Hardcover – January 27, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1st Printing edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465002803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465002801
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,576,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Library Journal
“[Abigail Trafford] delves into the problems of retirement and illness with compassionate insight and offers observations rather than advice. A distinctive slant on the aging process; highly recommended.”

Washington Post
“…the mood also amounts to a point of view: not rose-colored glasses but a strong, hopeful heart and an abiding belief in the power of love.”

Publishers Weekly
“This insightful book has quite a bit to say about modern relationships, young and old, the most important of which may be that falling in love at 80 is not much different from falling in love at 18.”

The Daily Sound
“There is an amazing amount of food for thought in this book. Mixing advice and societal study, author Abigail Trafford includes interviews with real people, hard research and data, and stories that will sound all-too-familiar to anyone who’s had a relationship… If you’ve ever been in love, if you are struck by the fact that the number of years you have left are fewer than the number of years you’ve lived, or if you’re looking anew at an old relationship, you need this book. As Time Goes By is simply engaging.”

Boston Globe

“From dealing with the challenges of retirement, illness, divorce, and remarriage to rediscovering that first love you never forgot, Trafford’s book is an exuberant Valentine to feeling connected at any age.”

About the Author

Abigail Trafford, an award–winning journalist, is a columnist and former health editor at the Washington Post. In 2007, she was a visiting scholar at the Center for Longevity at Stanford University. The author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed books Crazy Time and My Time, Trafford lives in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Grattan VINE VOICE on March 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a reasonable effort at shedding light on the possibilities and problems of coupledom in old age and/or retirement. It's not particularly remarkable to note that some marriages involve serial spouses (many marriages), are boomerang (marry, divorce, remarry same person), are throwback romantic (return to a past love), or have lasted a lifetime. Plenty of examples of all types are presented. It could be significant that the author's sample of marriages is highly skewed. Those she interviewed were invariably upper middle-class and professionals, in many cases in professions that permitted a great deal of flexibility and chances to control when one's working career is over or to move to related alternatives.

By far the most significant aspect of the book is her scattered discussions about the stresses of moving from work to retirement, involving either one or both marital partners. Changes in the primary earner can be especially problematical. With the structure of work gone, the intricacies of marriage move to the center of their lives. Cracks and incompatibilities, perhaps long dormant, in the marriage will invariably come to the fore when it becomes so important. As one would expect, the ability to communicate is foremost in overcoming hurdles, especially matters such as depression or sickness. In some cases, marriages become flat-lined, a situation where tolerance, appeasement, or a kind of standoff is achieved with no chance of an enjoyable relationship.

The author also discusses such matters as the changing capability of engaging in or enjoying physical intimacy. In addition, she contends that a network of at least ten close friends is necessary. She warns against the susceptibleness to infatuation, perhaps due to the realization of fewer years remaining.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Betty R. Mcguire on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a reader in my 70's I enjoyed the author's view, based on statistics, of how marriage ideals and living together have changed over the decades. Trafford writes for the lay reader with insight, humor and interesting personal interviews.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jc on August 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book. It shows us where we and many other people have been in our lives and possibly where we are headed..
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More About the Author

Abigail Trafford, an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, is a former health editor at the Washington Post. She lives in Washington, D.C.