(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Women who came of age in the fifteen years following World War II are now reaching retirement age. Women of this generation established their adult lives before the publication of Betty Friedan’s landmark book, THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE, kicked off the women’s liberation movement in 1963. That struggle for equality profoundly affected the live of these women, whether or not they were aware of it.

Diana Cort-Van Arsdale and Phyllis Newman, who are sisters, are two of the first psychologists to study the effects of retirement on women. They point out that women who are retiring now belong to the first generation in which most women had jobs, and that their retirement issues differ from those of men.

Cort-Van Arsdale and Newman discuss the possible negative emotional effects that retirement can have on women. One is the drop in self-esteem that can occur with the loss of a prestigious job title. Another is the loneliness that can result form relocation and the loss of friends and family.

TRANSITIONS offers several questionnaires designed to give the reader insight as to what steps she should take to ensure a happy retirement. The book’s suggestions seem practical and full of common sense. It should be a helpful guide to any woman who is finally able to get out of the rat race and call her time her own.