The Breaking Point: How Today's Women Are Navigating Midlife Crisis (Paperback)
"[The Breaking Point] suggests that the national conversation is about to have a hot flash. The passage through middle age of so large a clump of women . . . guarantees that some rules may have to be rewritten and boundaries moved to accommodate them." —Time magazine
From the cover of Time to Desperate Housewives, the phenomenon of women in midlife experiencing a period of tumultuous personal upheaval—a breaking point—has reached a peak in our culture. Today, more than 15 million baby boomer women report having a midlife crisis compared to 14 million men. In The Breaking Point, Wall Street Journal columnist Sue Shellenbarger looks beyond the numbers to discover the root of all this angst and examine the ways, both successful and not, that women are navigating this crucial transition period.
Drawing on original research data and interviews with more than fifty women, The Breaking Point uses real-life stories to illustrate the different archetypes and modes the course of reinvention follows. The book also shows women how to avoid the pitfalls of a midlife meltdown—ruined relationships and jettisoned careers—and instead transform this turbulent time into a period of personal growth that will enrich the rest of their lives.
Once every decade or so a book comes along that defines the collective experience of an entire generation. Provocative, insightful, and resonant, The Breaking Point is just such a book.
"Every once in a while you read a book that transforms you. Like the shift of a kaleidoscope, it reconfigures your view of life's journey. This is such a book. It may stimulate you to change directions, perhaps even enable you to find life's greatest joy: fulfillment. An invigorating read."
—Helen Fisher, author of Why We Love
"This catchy work is tailor-made for the 36 percent of women who will eventually have what they regard as midlife crises' . . . an illuminating guide." —Publishers Weekly
Sue Shellenbarger is the creator and writer of the Wall Street Journal's Work & Family column. The former chief of the Journal's Chicago news bureau, Shellenbarger started the column in 1991 to provide the nation's first regular coverage of the growing conflict between work and family and its implications for the workplace and society.