As Hope Lyndhurst-Steele approaches her 50th birthday, although she "has it all"--top magazine job, wonderful husband, loving son, many friends--fifty still feels like a four-letter word.
But she doesn't know just how low she can go.
When she returns to the office after her holiday break, she's informed by senior management that the "having it all" woman is OUT--and Hope's out along with her. As she starts spending her days at home, her relationship with her usually patient husband Jack starts to become strained, and her teenage son is more interested in chasing after the local trashy single mom than spending his last year at home with his own mother. And Hope's own mother, who she never got along with, has cheerily announced that she's got six months left to live. Hope is relieved when a solo trip to Paris wakes up her long-dormant libido, but when she returns, she finds that her husband is giving her more space than she'd like--he's moved out.
As Hope wonders if she'll be able to make it to fifty-one with her sanity and her family intact, she discovers some interesting truths about herself and her age--and even if 50 is not the new 30, it could be that the best is yet to come.
Kelsey's middling midlife crisis tale follows the travails of British magazine editor Hope Lyndhurst-Steele, whose 50th birthday ends up being far more traumatic than she could have imagined. Her teenage son is chasing a trampy single mom, her husband wants to move out, her estranged mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer and she's ousted from her job. Hope already feels sorry for herself, so all of this seems likely to crush her until she uses the knocks to gain a new perspective on her life and discover inner strengths. Kelsey unfortunately allows her heroine to be annoyingly self-involved for most of the book, and while her turnaround is refreshing, it comes too late to hook the reader. Save the grating narrator, this menopausal empowerment tale is safely by-the-numbers. (Mar.)
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March 09, 2009
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