My Days with Emma | Critical Book Review

Gentle Ruminations on Aging: An Elevated Self-Help Blend

My Days with Emma by Paul Dunion EdD isn’t your typical self-help book—it’s a contemplative journey through the intricacies of aging, offering joy and authenticity. Dunion, a psychotherapist and consultant, delves into the existential questions surrounding the later stages of life. In this review, we explore the unique blend of philosophy, psychology, and spirituality that shapes this indie nonfiction gem.


Exploring Life’s Challenges Through Wisdom

The narrative unfolds through a series of dialogues between the narrator and the sage mentor, “Emma.” Each chapter tackles a different facet of aging, prompting profound discussions. From the initiation into elderhood to “Befriending the Here and Now,” the book provides insightful reflections, inviting readers to explore their own experiences. The author employs self-analysis questions, encouraging a deeper connection with the material. Poems and blessings punctuate the chapters, distilling key conclusions into poignant expressions.


A Slow Ponder: Navigating the Depths of “Soulful Eldering”

My Days with Emma urges readers to reflect slowly, offering inspiration to answer fundamental questions about their pasts and embrace fulfilling elderhood. The book emphasizes seeking real-life assistance, either from trusted friends or mental/spiritual health professionals. Dunion takes a cerebral approach, utilizing the language of highly educated individuals and the specialized nomenclature of spiritual and philosophical writing. The extensive reference list serves as a valuable resource for further exploration.


Professional Narratives: Aging Amidst Careers and Challenges

Notably, the narrator, his older client, and even the mentor, Emma, are all actively engaged in their professional lives. Despite experiencing changes and losses, the practical problems of aging in modern society—poor health, lack of resources, isolation—are not the book’s focal point. However, it prompts readers to consider the challenges of graceful aging for those in a struggle to survive.


For the Thoughtful Reader: Embracing a Soulful Approach

My Days with Emma captivates readers interested in a soulful approach to aging. Fans of intelligent spiritual readings akin to Thomas Moore, Henri Nouwen, and Matthew Fox will find this book a compelling addition to their literary repertoire. Dunion’s work is a call to ponder life’s complexities, offering guidance for those navigating the path towards fulfilling elderhood.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressNonfiction/Aging214 pages978-1639885718

Gentle Ruminations on Aging: An Elevated Self-Help Blend My Days with Emma by Paul Dunion EdD isn’t your typical self-help book—it’s a contemplative journey through the intricacies of aging, offering joy and authenticity. Dunion, a psychotherapist and consultant, delves into the existential questions surrounding the later stages of life. In this review, we explore the…