The fabulous women from The Hot Flash Club are back in top form, welcoming the stressed-out and pampering-deprived through their discreet spa doors-as Nancy Thayer returns with a witty, sexy, and heartwarming novel. The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again also introduces four new women, ready for massages and seaweed wraps, each struggling to reconcile her secret dreams, biggest fears, and deepest feelings as topsy-turvy events shake up her life.After eighteen years of trying to make peace with her husband's cold-as-ice mother, Polly vows to be the perfect mother-in-law: loving, accepting, and determined to keep her mouth shut. Then her son marries Amy, a Birkenstocked gal whose organic farm and family ooze a rather creepy serenity. Ever the optimist, Polly puts her best foot forward . . . so why does it end up in her mouth
Fans of The Hot Flash Club will be pleased that Shirley, Faye, Marilyn and Alice are doing fine-although Marilyn still needs nudging about her dowdy wardrobe and Alice's Thanksgiving was a headache. But in this sequel, the fab menopausal four serve only to bring together a new quartet of gals who bond at Shirley's Boston-area wellness center, the Hot Spot Spa. The theme is in-laws. Polly is trapped into service to her late husband's granite-hearted mother, who is determined to die elegantly, while Polly's daughter-in-law, who has just given birth, is equally determined to keep Polly at arm's length. Delicate Beth has won the heart of rugged Sonny but not that of his mother. Julia is a dream stepmother to Belinda, who hasn't spoken since age five, when her mother died, but Belinda's grandmother hates Julia for stepping into her deceased daughter's place. Rich Carolyn is finally pregnant at 37, but the high blood pressure that brings her to the spa isn't her only problem: her widowed father's new wife, giggly, thick-ankled Heather, can't wait to get her hands on his checkbook. The ladies find one another's problems welcome relief from their own, and they plunge right in to expose Heather and sandbag Sonny's mother. The story moves along, but without the brass, bawdiness and heart of the flawed but lively first. Agent, Meg Ruley. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 13, 2004
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Excerpt from The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again by Nancy Thayer
Because Polly Lodge liked to look on the bright side, the word she chose to describe her mother-in-law was challenging, as in "the ferret makes a challenging pet." So when Polly's only child, David, married, Polly vowed to be the best mother-in-law she could possibly be, and the least interfering.
Sometimes, this was a struggle. But even though her son's wife, Amy, was a week overdue for the birth of Polly's first grandchild, Polly did not phone David and Amy every day. Of course they would call her when the baby was born! In the meantime, she didn't so much sleep at night as levitate a few inches off her bed in a trance of anticipation, every instinct straining to hear the ringing of the phone.
And then the phone rang.
It was the middle of the night. Polly lurched up and grabbed for the handset, knocking all her books off the bedside table.
David's voice was gorgeously smug. "Hello, Grandma."
Polly shrieked. "Amy had the baby!" She switched on her bedside lamp and sat up, leaning against the headboard. From the foot of her bed, her ancient basset hound, Roy Orbison, shot her a long-suffering look, then laid his head down between his paws and resumed snoring.
"She did indeed." David's laugh was proud.
David and Amy's insistence on having the baby born at home with a midwife had worried Polly, but she'd kept quiet, and now the joy in her son's voice signaled that all was well. Polly fell back among her pillows, weak with relief. "Stop it, David! Don't torture me!" They'd also decided, when they'd had the first ultrasound, not to be told the sex of the baby, nor to discuss the names they were considering.
"Jehoshaphat Feast Piper has just arrived on planet Earth, weighing nine pounds, three ounces, and bellowing like a bull."
The string of unfamiliar syllables made Polly blink. "Jeho-huh?"
"Jehoshaphat was a biblical king, famed for his righteousness."
"Oh, David!" Tears streamed down Polly's face. "A little boy! Oh, darling, congratulations! How's Amy?"
"She's beautiful." Now David's voice was choked. "She was awesome, Mom."
"Oh, I'm sure she was! Please tell her how proud I am of her. Give her a hug for me. And lots of kisses for everyone! Is there anything I can do?"
"No, thanks. I think we're going to try to snatch a few hours of sleep. We're exhausted. Well, Amy is."
"I'm so happy for you all, David. I love you all so much!"
"Thanks, Mom. We'll phone in the morning."