Never Too Late: A Novel
by Jan Marquart

Jan Marquart, 2017. ISBN 978-0-997-33085-4.
Reviewed by B. Lynn Goodwin
Posted on 06/05/2017

Fiction: Literary; Fiction: Mainstream

I imagine Lily King, at the end of her life, "...sliding in sideways saying, 'Man what a ride" to paraphrase Willie Nelson. She has the guts, gumption, and determination to do whatever she wants.

In Jan Marquart's novel Never Too Late sixty-year-old Lily's son moved her to a home for older women after her husband died. She hates it. She breaks out or runs away, whichever you prefer, leaving notes for her landlady and son. She doesn't want to hurt anyone, but she's off to find a meaningful life for herself in New Mexico. On her way she befriends a widow who asked to buy the practical, comfortable shoes Lily has just thrown away. The women may have different taste in shoes, but they share a love of writing and a desire to live life to the fullest, and they soon become fast friends..

Never Too Late is about believing in the power of love and following your dreams, even in your sixties and seventies. It is about doing what is in your power. In Lily's case that includes starting a writing retreat and caring for a woman whose cancer is devouring her body. The cancer sufferer brings an important dimension to this story. Even if your health is waning, your heart and attitude can remain strong. As Lily deals with her new boyfriend, Ed, and the challenges of living in an abandoned cabin in New Mexico, she comes into her own. She turns into a woman still capable of loving life and all it has to offer.

I was drawn to the book because of its title. It's the same as the working title of my memoir. Marquart and I both tell stories about older women taking risks, but Marquart takes a fictitious approach and I tell a story I lived. Marquart's heroine, Lily, would have been able to answer many of my questions about love and relationships when I was dating my first husband at 62. She would have agreed with my decision to expand my life without letting go of my interests. She would have applauded my husband's exuberant energy and zest for adventures.

This is an excellent book for anyone who fears living alone, taking on new projects, trying a new romance, or otherwise embracing life. Marquart has created a wise, wonderful heroine who will keep you turning pages.

Jan Marquart has a psychotherapy practice and is the author of 23 books, both for adults and children. She has written over 100 daily journals and teaches writing classes for Story Circle Network and Life Learning Institute in Austin, Texas. Jan enjoys writing about the vicissitudes of life, the power of relationships, and the indefatigable need to find a way through life's challenges with courage and strength. Jan can be reached at and

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