02/12/2005

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (by Elizabeth Buchan)

It's not really a very inspiring title. The cover, pastel with slightly quirky clip-art type pictures didn't really grab me either. Chick-lit isn't really my thing, and that's what this book looked like. Still, I knew almost nothing about Elizabeth Buchan, and this book found its way onto my shelves, though I'm not entirely sure how. I picked it up in an odd moment, wanting something easy to read that wasn't going to grip me too much.

'Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman' turned out to be considerably more interesting than I'd expected, although undoubtedly a light read. This is the story of Rose Lloyd, a middle-aged book editor whose life is reasonably predictable, and basically very contented. Suddenly her life falls apart... the back of the book gives a rather disappointing spoiler that meant I wasn't quite so surprised as I should have been when the revelation happens, but perhaps I'd have guessed anyway. Most of the book is about Rose picking up the pieces, and the ramifications on her family, friends and social life.

I felt it was well-written, quite believable, and thought-provoking. The characters weren't nearly as well-rounded as, say, Rosamunde Pilcher's, and I didn't relate too deeply to any of them. On the other hand, I was interested to find out what was going to happen and what the 'revenge' of the title would be. I was pleased to find there was no heavy emotion, no artificial conversation, no lurid sex-scenes, and hardly any shopping. Some of Rose's acquaintances were obvious caricatures, but that wasn't really a bad thing; it made them more memorable.

One of the reviews on the back states that this novel is 'funny, sad, sophisticated'. I'm not entirely sure why. I can't remember anything that was funny, and while the shock near the beginning was sad, it wasn't the kind of thing to cause my eyes to fill. Nor did it seem particularly sophisticated, but I suppose it is when compared with ordinary chick-lit (and yes, I've read two or three of them).

Still, the ending was hopeful without being trite, or too neat and tidy, and all in all I enjoyed it. Recommended - and I shall be looking out for more by this author in future.

1 comment:

Derek said...

Hi :-) Interesting blog. Saw you on Ciao.UK, being nosey, thought I'd take a look and will bookmark. You seem to be having the same ideas as me :-) Derek