Summary of Women Rowing North

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Women Rowing North book summary

Editorial Rating



  • Eloquent
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Clinical psychologist Mary Pipher assesses the challenges and opportunities women face as they age. Pipher revolutionized thinking about teenage girls in her classic Reviving Ophelia. She offers fewer psychological analyses of aging and more case histories in this supportive, accessible read for women dealing with ageism, caregiving and various financial, familial and health crises. Most older women don’t want advice on fixing their lives. Pipher avoids that trap while encouraging forward momentum, coming to terms with any new limitations – and cultivating an enduring sense of joy despite it all.

About the Author

Clinical psychologist Mary Pipher also wrote the New York Times bestseller Reviving Ophelia.


Many studies show that happiness increases with age.

Your younger years may not be your best ones. A Brookings Institution study from 2014 showed that happiness increases after people’s early 40s. Women find increasing pleasure in life around the age of 55, and happiness grows thereafter. 

In the United Kingdom, the happiest members of the population are women between 65 and 79 years old. Women express greater joy than men as they age.

Happiness is a skill that requires cultivation.

Framing your experiences to find the gratitude they provide you helps build joy. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky found that happiness is 50% genetics. The rest comes from behavior, outlook and situation. Being grateful helps. Serving those in need shifts your focus away from your troubles.

Believing that happiness is possible provides you with a coping mechanism. A realistic assessment of a problem means finding new strengths to help you work it out. Many worries are unnecessary and lead to increased stress.

Women suffer from ageism more than men.

The culture demeans older women by mocking their bodies and sexuality...

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