Revenge Of The Middle-Aged Woman – Elizabeth Buchan

Regular viewers may notice that Frothy Reads is partial to a revenge tale, however this one is a very grown-up, low key affair. At forty-seven years of age, Rose loses both her husband of twenty-five years and her editing job to her assistant Minty. Nathan claims to need freedom, but it’s Rose who gains freedom while Nathan is bewitched into a greater trap. In the meantime, each of their grown-up children are entertaining thoughts of marriage while coming to terms with their parents’ breakup and their father’s betrayal of their mother.

Rose soon gets on with her life and discovers it’s not over yet, especially when a globe-trotting figure from her adventurous past reappears. All along Rose has to come to terms with the constant shadow of Minty, who realises she should have been careful what she wished for.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Some beautifully drawn characters, all flawed, and all layered. Rose’s widowed mother Ianthe disapproves of the split, and pressures her to fight for her marriage, not realising that Rose had tried, offering to forgive and forget. Rose’s two best friends leap into action, despite having grown apart, and Mazarine exerts her best french influence to smarten Rose up.

Rose’s son Sam and daughter Poppy are very different personalities; sheltered daddy’s girl Poppy comes crashing into adulthood, and sensitive Sam is headed for heartbreak with his seemingly commitment-phobic girlfriend. In their early twenties, both still rely on their mother’s gentle guidance. Twenty-nine year old Minty is probably the most interesting, her initial mysteriousness is duly exposed as ambition and cunning. Her fierce independence is a cover for loneliness as she sees and covets what Rose has. Nathan is a familiar character, he soon sees what he’s thrown away; the grass is always greener of course.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Rose is wise, with a maturity possibly more befitting someone in their fifties, but she had children at a young age. She copes calmly with Minty, with a few understandable exceptions, and is a even just a touch manipulative. She handles her separation well, and eases back into a revitalised career.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The book is beautifully written, descriptive and thoughtful. It’s not light and frothy in tone, and is reminiscent of Thursdays in the Park, even more so with the London setting.

Evaluation of your eBook?– The title is possibly a misnomer as the revenge aspect is incidental; it’s more a case of karma, as the heroine goes about her life while things gradually fall apart for her estranged husband and his mistress. It’s a familiar tale, and not overly eventful, but it’s a compelling read, and it’s easy to keep turning the pages to see the aforementioned karma run it’s course. If you’re an aspiring writer, you’ll appreciate and be envious of the ease at which the author draws you in. The sharply observed dialogue contains much to be read between the lines- in keeping with the graceful subtlety of the book. I appreciated the ending- not neatly tied up, but open to possibilities. Some misplaced quotation marks in the ebook were a little distracting, but it wasn’t hard to decipher who said what. I’ts categorised as Much more Substantial on the Frothy scale, more for tone than length (it only took me about 4 or 5 hours).

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Currently £4.99 on Amazon, but keep an eye open for special offers, I got it for 99p on an Amazon one day offfer. WHSmith also have it for £4.99.

US: $11.99 on Amazon and $9.89 from Kobobooks.