Blooming in Winter

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A book review of Blooming in Winter: The Story of a Remarkable Twentieth-Century Woman by Pam Valois

A book review of Blooming in Winter: The Story of a Remarkable Twentieth-Century Woman by Pam Valois

Stars: ****

She Writes Press (2021)
264 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: When Pam Valois met her in the 1970s, Jacomena (Jackie) Maybeck was a model of zestful, hands-on living and aging, still tarring roofs and splitting logs in her seventies, and Pam was a young working mother trying to carve out time for creative projects. Jackie became her mentor, and their friendship led to a best-selling book, Gifts of Age, that features portraits of Jackie and other exemplary women in the winter of their lives.

Decades later, when Pam and her husband bought Jackie’s home, she realized that she knew little about her mentor’s fascinating life. What had shaped and supported Jackie in living “at full tilt” until her death at ninety-five? Blooming in Winter tells this tale―a story that stretches from Java to a magical house designed by Jackie’s famous father-in-law, Bernard Maybeck, chronicling her early years as an immigrant and ranch girl and later as a bohemian, mother of twins, ceramicist, and widow, and, ultimately, the steward of the Maybeck legacy. Along the way, Jackie became an old woman who lived with grace and aplomb. Her uncommon approach to life encourages us to reflect on our own lives and what it looks like to live exuberantly to the very end.

Blooming in Winter

I seem to be reading a lot of books either written by or about seniors lately and I love it. I’m not around a lot of seniors and the one I am is losing her memory. I love reading about life in the 1900-1980s because that is before I was born. Jackie was born in 1901! She didn’t make it to 100 but she did live a long life all the way through the 1900s. I think that’s amazing.

The author (Pam) has a unique connection to Jackie Maybeck. She came into her life because of a book she wrote. It turned into much more though. Here the author takes what she knows plus old photos, letters, written and verbal stories from the Maybeck family to make this book.

The book is FULL of black and white photos and sketches. This makes for a very interesting book. It’s so much better to see what you are reading about. In fact, Jackie’s family helped build many houses for themselves and others. Details and sketches of the house are included. I was inspired by one of the sketches so much that I am making a recreation of it in The Sims 4.

It’s a beautiful story about a beautiful woman and her life. It was a pleasant read.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.