Women Rowing North

A guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age by the author of Reviving Ophelia.

Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be.

In Women Rowing North, Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. “If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully,” Pipher writes, “we will experience a joyous time of our lives.


A respected clinical psychologist, Mary Pipher is best known for her 1994 bestseller, “Reviving Ophelia,” an astute consideration of adolescent girls. Now Pipher uses her skills to help us older girls — the 60-and-up set — women who in Pipher’s words are navigating the “last stretch of the river with its treacherous currents.” Despite the nautical cliche, the early pages of Pipher’s new book, aptly titled “Women Rowing North,” are encouraging and useful (if somewhat obvious): Resilience is key to aging well; age is less important than health; “happiness doesn’t come easily”; saying “no” can be powerful.

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