Mother, mother-in-law, grandmother—the Pulitzer-winning columnist and #1 bestselling author reflects on the roles we play throughout our lives, sharing personal stories and advice on the special joys and complexities of middle age.It’s a little challenging to suss out why exactly it can be so magical. . . . All I know is: The hand. The little hand that takes yours, small and soft as feathers. I’m happy our grandson does not yet have sophisticated language or a working knowledge of personal finance, because if he took my hand and said, “Nana, can you sign your 401(k) over to me,” I can imagine myself thinking, well, I don’t really need a retirement fund, do I? And besides, look at those eyelashes. Or the greeting. Sometimes Arthur sees me and yells “Nana!” in the way some people might say “ice cream!” and others say “shoe sale!” No one else has sounded that happy to see me in many many years.Before blogs even existed, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full Nana in the pages of this lively, beautiful, and moving book about being a grandmother. Quindlen offers thoughtful and telling observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. She writes, “Where I once led, I have to learn to follow.” Eventually a close friend provides words to live by: “Did they ask you?”Candid, funny, frank, and illuminating, Quindlen’s singular voice has never been sharper or warmer. With the same insights she brought to motherhood in Living Out Loud and to growing older in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, this new nana uses her own experiences to illuminate those of many others.