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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
How often have you heard the saying "life is like that"? And the multitude of other sayings that reflect upon age and maturity and how old we are, like “act your age.” But what is our age? And does it matter? Perhaps the short stories in David Joseph’s I Never Knew How Old I Was have a significant point. Age doesn’t matter, does it? And, when you think of it, age is irrelevant. Time and circumstances – physical, emotional, and spiritual – that encompass the basic act of living can make us feel much older than we are. “I felt old. I felt so incredibly old, all this time. I felt old, and I was old. But I never knew. All this time, I never knew how old I was.” Do you know how old you are? There’s a lot to reflect on and remember and time can alter our perception of age, just like age can alter our perception of time.
David Joseph’s book, I Never Knew How Old I Was, is a complex look at age and time through a collection of short stories and memories from a life well lived. The stories are all written in the first-person narrative and read like snapshots of a memoir. Simple events in a simple life, foolish things accomplished, reflective wisdom of confidence, insecurity, intimacy, and emotional interactions all compound into a powerful look at what it means to be alive. The language is simple, written in a storytelling format, as the author shares inner thoughts and provocations. The stories resonate with an inner illumination of agelessness that lacks definition. These stories will make readers deeply reflective of ageism.