After the death of her mother when she turned ten, Judith Friedland learned to be resilient. She met the expectations for upper-middle-class women in Toronto in the 1940s and 1950s, which included post-secondary education, marriage, and motherhood.
While raising a family and supporting her husband’s academic career, she continued her formal education through part-time study and gradually began a journey tailored to herself as an individual. In her forties, she embarked on her own academic career, rising through the ranks to become a tenured full professor and chair of the department of occupational therapy in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
In her new memoir, There Was A Time For Everything, Friedland reflects on her life and the fact that over time she managed to “have it all” — just not all at once.
The book is well written and stands as a good example of a memoir of an upper-middle-class woman growing up in a Jewish milieu in Toronto, affiliated with the academic world, and shaped by the common domestic concerns related to husband, children and extended family, yet unwilling to disappear behind any of these traditional roles. While the story may not have universal appeal, it is told with intelligence and sensitivity. As a bonus, there are many references to the city and the way it used to be, which will be of interest to long-time Torontonians.
The author is now of an advanced age and the publication of There Was A Time For Everything stands as a proud accomplishment to cap a life of challenge and accomplishment. ♦