Shelfari edited the description of The Twilight Years Saturday, August 1, 2009.
Akiko's superwoman-life takes an unexpected turn when her father-in-law, Shigezo, becomes senile. Because of Shigezo's rude and disrespectful treatment of Akiko over the years, she and her husband had a house built out back for her in-laws, physically close but emotionally distant. Now Akiko's mother-in-law is dead, and Shigezo is slipping further out of touch with reality, becoming childlike and dependent on Akiko, staying in her home and complicating her already full life. How can she work her full-time job, including half days on Saturday, clean house, cook meals, and provide a home for her husband and teen-age son - as well as care for an aging, difficult man? She can't, and it causes her to wonder: "Was her husband about to tell her that she could not go to work and leave his father unattended? Would he also say that it was high time she stayed at home where she belonged?" Her struggles are compounded as she tries to reconcile her harsh feelings for Shigezo. The Twilight Years is Akiko's life in the kitchen, the bathroom, at work, and with herself, a woman caught between traditions, expectations, and personal realities. The issues Akiko deals with are not uncommon, the solutions are not easy. But from her struggles, Akiko emerges a stronger, more defined woman. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14 . -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith