Pan Macmillan has been on a long and very successful journey with Mary Moody. The trilogy of books describing her escape from mid-life crises - Au Revoir, Last Tango in Toulouse and The Long Hot Summer - has reached a generation of Australian women.In her new book Sweet Surrender, after all of her escapades and adventures, Mary has come full circle and has embraced surrendering to the inevitable. Surrendering to ageing, to the pull of family, to the happiness derived from a life that is centred on others as well as herself, and to the undeniable influence of her parents and her family on the person she is. It's been a journey that has taught her a lot, but in the end the needs of her family - her four children and her grandchildren - turned out to be a lot more important than her French affairs.At the heart of Sweet Surrender, Mary challenges the illusion of eternal youth that's attributed to the baby boomer generation and the idea that she can obtain complete happiness by living life putting her own needs first. Yet like in her other books, she does so in a very personal way, describing how she herself was drawn in by the notion of denying the ageing process and by living life without the burden of obligation to the needs of others. That was until events in her life conspired to make her realise that you can't just run away from the essence of who you are, and that the most deeply satisfying moment in life can be experienced when fulfilling the needs of those who you love.
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