She wrote & lived with dignity. That's what I admire most on this book. It's so easy for journal/memoir writing to go down the self pity, rage and anger way; some of my own journal writing will be a perfect examples of it; also Joan Didion's [b:Blue Nights|10252302|Blue Nights|Joan Didion|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1319148558s/10252302.jpg|15152485]. Instead she wrote with clear head, dissecting the mechanic of living alone & solitude. How to have a "whole live" when you're meant to toil your patch alone without a partner, child or whatever sharing every step of the way. What does it say about you when you know despite the utmost delightfulness of experiencing something with people you love, you still need the alone time to absorb and understand all that's happening to you. No, this is not a how-to book. But it's an inspiring book that I know I'll buy because I'd need to have a copy to remind me that a life lived in solitude can still be a wonderful & full life. Yes, this is a roundabout way of saying May Sarton's life as written has became a lighthouse for my future life. She was saying in the book that the culture has turned old age to be something to be afraid of. That only youth worth living of. What luck it is that she has turned that problem around by showing its negation. It's easy to see old age as wonderfully fulfilled when you have your whole family & descendant around you as proof of your part in bringing human species forward another generation. It's different case altogether when you're an 50-60ish woman alone. Yet her life is fully lived; and if I can say in her age the same as she was, that the life she had is the one she would choose to live, then it'll be enough for me. On the other side, her clarity at one point of time made it suspect to me. Did she write the view of publishing therefore had conciously/unconciously editing herself during writing? Or did the heavy editing happen afterward. Or did she only applied her poet writing principle where hell can happen in her mind but what got written will the distillation of it. (she was saying it thousand times better than this, I need to quote it before returning the book). This is why I couldn't give 5stars. Still, very recommended book & one that jumps to my book budget. Read the dead tree book, you'd want to leave a lot of markings on it.