Unconditional Love: A Guide for Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today.

November 6, 2018

Book Reviews

Jane Isay

This one’s for every grandparent

Unconditional Love: A Guide for Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today.
Jane Isay
Harper, March 6, 2018

Reviewed by Alene Jo Kaufman

It’s hard to read a book when one’s head is continually nodding up and down, but that’s what happened while reading Jane Isay’s Unconditional Love: A Guide for Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today. As the grandmother of two incredible granddaughters,
I only wish I had read this before becoming one!

Isay grabs the reader as she welcomes us into the feeling of “stardust,” that unconditional love
that is the “magic bridge that spans the generations.” She divides her work into four sections,
each one filled with illustrative anecdotes and meaningful suggestions. From readying the family
for the changes about to take place upon the birth of a grandchild, to understanding the new parents’ requests and providing ways to respond (aka listen!) to them, Isay gives us the tools to forge relationships with our grandchildren and our adult children in their new roles. She does not
ignore the challenges of being a custodial grandparent, or the childcare grandparent, or even
the grandparent who lives on the other side of the country. She provides realistic and often-emotional suggestions for these challenges. Isay addresses additional concerns while looking through the lens of creating and maintaining family relationships.

The book is an easy to read and engaging work. I was pleasantly surprised to find research citations, suggestions for additional reading, and an index at the end—all resources for those grandparenting
questions that Isay may not have (yet) answered. Finished the book and want more Jane Isay? Check out her blog http://www.janeisay.com/blog/ or come hear her speak at the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival.

Jane Isay will be at the Sandler Family Campus on Wednesday, November 21, at 12 pm during the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival, which runs through December 2. This event is in partnership with Beth Sholom Village and Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. For more information on the Jewish Book Festival and its visiting authors, contact Callah Terkeltaub at cterkeltaub@ujft.org or 757-321-2331.

Alene Kaufman is the former director of Strelitz Early Childhood Center and a life long educator.

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