Are You Too Old to Start Again?

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New novel explores healing and renewal.

How old is too old to start your life all over again? At some point, are you too old to reinvent yourself one more time? According to a highly praised new novel, change and renewal are possible for anyone, at any age.

The book, “Late and Soon,” by Robert J. Hughes, is a new look at an age old challenge. History is filled with people who have the courage to begin again, from the Roman poet Horace, who started his career at the age of 40, to Marcia Cross, of "Desperate Housewives," who received a masters in social work and hopes eventually to practice when she sets aside her acting career.

In Robert J. Hughes's new novel, characters confront change in their lives, and move in new directions to seek personal fulfillment. There's Claire, who's in her early 30s and still wondering how to move on five years after her husband left her for another man. There's Toby, the man Claire's husband left her for who finds himself abandoned and aimless himself, pondering a change in career and location. There's Toby's parents, recovering alcoholics who got sober at the age of 70 and found renewed careers as actors. And there's Frank, an ex-priest who's determined to break out of his shell and find commitment and romance.

All of these people share one thing: they know they must change. How they do this, and where they end up is at the heart of "Late and Soon," which international best-selling novelist Adriana Trigiani ("Rococo," "Lucia, Lucia") calls "gorgeous." She says it's a book for all readers who love "well-drawn characters and a page-turning story. For those who seek inspiration and refuge in the glory of paintings, you will find words and images here that will match your highest dreams."

Mr. Hughes is available to speak on art, culture and the world of auctions, as depicted in his novel.


Betsy Steve


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