By Nancy Thayer
From the bestselling author of Between Husbands and Friends and An Act of Love comes a wise, wonderful, and delightfully witty “coming of age” novel about four intrepid women who discover themselves as they were truly meant to be: passionate, alive, and ready to face the best years of their lives.
Meet Faye, Marilyn, Alice, and Shirley. Four women with skills, smarts, and secrets—all feeling over the hill and out of the race. But in a moment of delicious serendipity, they meet and realize they share more than raging hormones and lost dreams. Now as the Hot Flash Club, where the topics of motherhood, sex, and men are discussed with double servings of chocolate cake, they vow to help each other . . . and themselves.
Faye, the artist. A determinedly cheerful widow and connoisseur of control-top pantyhose, she’s struggling with creative block and an empty, lonely house. Now she’s got a tricky problem to bring to the club’s table: how can they catch her perfect son-in-law cheating on her only daughter Laura?
Shirley, the healer. Though her yoga-slender body belie her years, decades of dating losers and the strain of being broke make her feel her age. Shirley has a secret dream: a wellness spa that nurtures body and soul. But first she needs to believe in herself, in her abilities, and in her friends at the club.
Marilyn, the brain. A paleontologist who has spent so many years looking at dried-up fossils, she’s almost become one herself. Worried that her brilliant but nerdy son is about to marry the very wrong woman, she gets some help from the HFC, who transform her from a caterpillar to a butterfly, with amazing results.
Alice, the executive. Black and regal, she soared to the top of the corporate ladder. Now her shoes are murder on her arthritic back and the younger jackals are circling in for the kill. But as the inspiration behind the HFC, she’s about to discover something extraordinary: contentment.
For Faye, Shirley, Marilyn, and Alice, the time has come to use it or lose it—be it their bodies, their brains, their spirits, and their sense of fun. Together they realize that they can have it all, perhaps for the first time in their lives. And though what sags may never rise again, feeling sexy has no expiration date— and best of all, with a little help from her friends, a woman can always start over . . . and never, ever, give up what matters most.
Blurb from Amazon
The Hot Flash Club is about four middle age women and the various issues each faced as they aged and about how they adjusted to life under their own individual circumstances. Of course, one of the main issues each was faced was the man, or lack of a man, in their lives. They came together by chance and had dinner and lots of wine and chocolate. It was then they decided to keep meeting, mostly for the wine and chocolate, to help each other in their adjustment to their current situations. Alice took on the role of spearheading the group. A lot happens in the story, but to keep from giving too much away, I will not delve into the nitty-gritty of the book.
In the beginning, it was difficult to keep the characters straight in my mind (be patient), but as the story evolved, they came into their own right. There are a lot of humorous and relatable situations, and I must admit, I found myself laughing out loud at times. The author did a wonderful job fleshing out the stories of these four midlife women. By the end of the book, you will feel you have a personal relationship with each.
If you enjoy women’s fiction with humor sprinkled throughout, this is a book you’ll want to read. As a side note, I read the second book in the series, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again, and was substantially disappointed. Because the first part of the book lacked in keeping the characters straight for the readers (my book club had the same issues with The Hot Flash Club), I am giving this book 4 stars.
About the Author
Nancy Thayer has a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Before settling down to write and have children she taught English at various colleges and traveled, living in Paris, Amsterdam and Helsinki. In 1981 she was a Fellow at the Breadloaf Writers Conference. She has lived on Nantucket Island year-round for twenty-five years with her husband Charley Walters. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Nancy Thayer is the author of nineteen novels, including Summer House, The Hot Flash Club series, Moon Shell Beach, Stepping, and Three Women At The Water’s Edge.
Her books concern the mysteries and romance of families and relationships and the humorous adventures of growing older.
In 2008, Redbook magazine chose her novel Moon Shell Beach for their “Hot Summer Read.” Nancy’s work has been translated into more than 14 languages, including Polish, Hebrew, Russian, and Serbo Croatian. Her novels have been condensed or excerpted in several magazines, including Redbook, Good Housekeeping, England’s Cosmopolitan, Holland’s Viva, and South Africa’s Personality.
She has published a commissioned three-part mystery novella in Redbook, and short stories in literary reviews in the United States, Canada, and Spain. Her first novel, Stepping, was made into a 13-part series for BBC Radio. Her ghost novel Spirit Lost was produced as a movie by United Image Entertainment. Her novel Everlasting was a Main Dual selection of the Literary Guild in 1991.
Author Bio from Goodreads