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Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman: A Novel [Paperback]

Elizabeth Buchan
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Jan. 1 2004 --  
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2004

Get ready to cheer for Rose Lloyd, a woman of young middle-age who proves that starting over doesn’t have an age limit. After twenty-five years spent juggling husband, career, and kids with admirable success, Rose suddenly finds both her marriage and her career in unexpected ruin. Forced to begin a new life, she is at first terrified, then energized, by her newfound freedom—it’s amazing what prolonged reflection, a little weight loss, a new slant on independence, and some Parisian lingerie will do for the psyche! Witty, insightful, and emotionally resonant, Buchan’s novel will strike a chord with anyone who has ever wondered what Middle Age would look like from the other side of the looking glass (answer: much better than you could ever expect).

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Buchan's latest novel finds the carefully managed life of 48-year-old Rose Lloyd, a successful book review editor, turned upside down. First, her husband of 25 years announces he's leaving Rose for her own sexy assistant. Next, insult is added to injury: Rose is fired from her job and replaced by none other than the woman who broke up her marriage. Buchan lends a compelling emotional depth to her main characters, seamlessly merging Rose's struggle to rise above the betrayal, shock and fear of middle-aged "invisibility" with flashbacks to her youth, recollections of her first love to a now famed travel writer, memories of family vacations and her grown kids' childhood. With extensive stage and theater work to her credit, and incorporating myriad voices to the diverse cast, Gilpin makes the book's transition to a 10-hour unabridged audio format exceptionally smooth. Narrating mostly in a proper British accent, which perfectly suits Rose's "delight in domesticity" and enhances the book's dry, slightly askew sense of humor, Gilpin also captures the outrage of Rose's son and daughter (both of whom have their own relationship issues), the American drawl of her old flame (who makes an unexpected return), the grumpy rumblings of an elderly neighbor she cares for and the feisty opinions of her mother, making for a good production listeners will enjoy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Library Journal

Happy for 25 years, Rose watches aghast as both her career and her marriage suddenly go down the drain. A best seller in England that's slated for the post-Bridget Jones crowd.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
"Here" said Minty, my deputy, with one of her breathy laughs, "the review has just come in. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOOKING IN THE MIRROR . . . Oct. 19 2002
By A Customer
Seldom fiction makes me feel better about myself, yet E. Buchan always does. Her writing is contemporary yet no-nonsense. REVENGE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN follows our heroine through drastic lifestyle and philosophical changes. Not once did I doubt her middle-aged convictions and strangely found all the challenges comforting. This book was better than a mid-winter holiday for my head and my heart.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a she-devil April 21 2004
By Ange
If you're looking for the typical she-devil who gets revenge on those who wronged her, this isn't that book. Instead, it's a book about the simple, yet complex, transformation of a woman dealing with an upended life.
Rose, head of the book review department at newspaper where her husband, Nathan, also works, finds her tranquil, if somewhat idyllic, life thrown into chaos. Nathan unexpectedly announces that he is leaving her for another woman, who turns out to be Rose's assistant at the paper. In a slightly pat twist, Rose's assistant is also given Rose's job - leaving her without a husband, a job and eventually, a home. Nathan attempts to excuse his infidelity and subsequently atrocious behaviour by blaming the affair on Rose's supposed buried affection for her first love, but even he eventually admits it's a ruse.
I found this book an unexpected delight and a refreshing change from the typical "hell-hath-no-fury" tales of divorcees. Some reviewers complained that Rose was not truly "transformed"; I personally saw much of Rose's changed life not as an obvious standout (wearing lingerie, losing weight), but in the smaller bits of her interior: feeling sympathy for the woman her husband left her for, Rose's reaction to her daughter's sudden marriage.
"Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman" offers a quiet, introspective look at a heartbreaking event in one woman's life. The book is not without it's flaws, but overall, it is a fine work by a fine author.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The Victimization of A Middle-aged Wimp. March 21 2004
This book should have been titled The Victimization of A Middle-aged Wimp. No wit or humor evident in this book. Nothing but disaster after disaster until it shot my suspension of disbelief to smithereens.
Rose's lack of anger at her rotten husband's outrageous attitude of entitlement, lack of self-defense, then later, her defense of him and his appallingly selfish and narcissistic behavior was enough to make me want to throw the book against the wall. And I would have, too, if it wouldn't have broken my mp3 player.
I wanted to shake Rose and say, "Wake the heck up, woman! The man isn't worth the cost of toilet paper. Be a woman--wipe and flush!"
In the end--er, scratch that. I never got to the end. Ms. Buchan lost me when Rose allowed her husband and his mistress to take her house from her. But at that point, anyway, it was very clear that Rose was a nonconfrontational coward who stood passively by while her daughter fought her battles for her and said to Nathan all the things that Rose should have said. Last but not least, Rose turned out have terrible taste in men. Hal wasn't much better.
This is just another Lit Fic story about a victimized woman. Read the Romance genre. The heroine's are stronger and smarter, and the men--though flawed--are more heroic. Much more satisfying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a good read.... Jan. 27 2004
Elizabeth Buchan notes that a very old saying reminds us living well is the best revenge. Once you reach the point you decide the other person is only human and that no matter how much you loved him or her if she or he doesn't love you back, or love you back well enough to do something about it, there's not much you can do. So, you decide to get on with your own life. A few years ago the film 'Fatal Attraction' offered one alternative for the woman scorned, but most of us don't go that route. Instead, we attempt like Rose of THE REVENGE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN to get over it and get on with it. But it takes time. I had a friend whose wife left him on Saturday. He decided to get over it by going to the beach for several days. He left on a Sunday, thinking by Thursday when he came back home he would be "cured" of his pain. Of course he wasn't. It takes time to heal.
A self-help book published back in the 1970s around the time I went through a divorce suggested you give yourself two years to heal. Then you might be ready to involve yourself with some one new should you choose. I found it most true. I involved myself with some one six months after I separated from my "other" and it was a disaster. Next time I waited more than two years and it worked out much better. My daughter was widowed seven years ago and remarried last summer. Like the character Jamie Lee Curtis plays in 'Freaky Friday' I think it will work. The psyche needs time to heal and you are worth the wait.
Rose has good sense. She takes time to heal when her twenty-five year-old marriage ends because her husband goes off the tracks at age 51 and falls for a 28 year old woman who also happens to work for Rose!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A woman's guide to revenge and redemption Sept. 7 2003
By Kali
I'm not into women's books. They annoy me much in the same way that a veruca will annoy you. However the case of "Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman" I will make an exception to my rule, well who said rules were made to be bent whenever is necessary!

This is a deliciously entertaining book about Rose, her adulterous husband Nathan, the other woman, the diabolical Minty (a rather fragile she devil) and Rose's oddball grown up children Poppy and Sam.

The plot centres around Nathan's affair with the brittle but beautiful Minty and the affect it has on Rose, his wife of many years. When the affair finally becomes public Rose has lost not only her husband but her job too. However Rose is more resilient than she thinks and bit by bit she finds herself shedding her previous life, and heading down a path she might have taken if she had not chosen to marry Nathan.

Add to this a cast of quirky characters like Rose's eccentric mother Ianthe, an ancient cat called Parsley, Richard, the man Poppy marries suddenly in Thailand, a suicidal ex-girlfriend of Sam's and Hal the man Rose might have taken up with if she hadn't chosen Nathan and you have a novel to make you laugh and cry in the same breath.

Page by page we are treated to Rose's rebirth as a new woman, no longer in Nathan's shadow, no longer the wronged wife. With each trial and tribulation Rose rises to the fore and survives even the most bitter of blows. Like when she is forced to sell the marital home she finds herself able to exhale and move on to the next task at hand. And in the background Nathan is finding that life with the "other" woman isn't all it is cracked up to be and that Rose the wife that he had complained confined him, is now the one that is free.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Revenge in a mature way
Little slow in the beginning didn't think I would like it but as I read on I found myself feeling for Rose. A very mature way to revenge on being cheated on... Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2011 by Louise Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Even my husband enjoyed it!
This is not a typical "woman's book". The story is so true to life everyone in our book club knew someone it has happened to. Read more
Published on June 28 2004 by Whale Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray for the middle-aged woman
This is a wonderfully reassuring book for any us who think life is over when our husband decides we are old and tired. Read more
Published on June 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars It sneaks up on you
When the box of books was left at my office, I grabbed this one for a quick light hearted read that I thought would pass for a few hours of relaxation after dinner. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Rebekah Fawn Cochran
4.0 out of 5 stars Living Well is the Best Revenge
Rose Lloyd, a 40-something London newspaper book reviewer, is simultaneously dumped by her husband of 25 years and has her job taken by his mistress, who also happens to be Rose's... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by Melissa McCauley
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointing read
My book club chose this book because of it's interesting title. What a disappointment. I only kept reading after the first hour because I just knew that eventually SOMETHING would... Read more
Published on May 21 2004 by Ida Heinen
5.0 out of 5 stars What did you expect?
It seems that many reviewers were expecting the revenge to come in the form of a bloody knife or a runaway car or burned down house, or something else equally nefarious. Read more
Published on May 21 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars yuck
Our book club picked this book but I could hardly finish it. Several people had not even bothered to finish. The review we had seen made it sound great. Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by Melanie casey Crovo
3.0 out of 5 stars Yoo-Hoo!! Revenge, Where Are You??
Come out! Come out! Where ever you are! Is this hint subtle enough? After finishing this book, I'm still looking around trying to find the *revenge* that the title speaks of. Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by "bookchickadee"
4.0 out of 5 stars Living Well is the Best Revenge
I bought Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan for its catchy title. As I turned the pages, I found the book to be more sweet than tart, but that sweetness grew on... Read more
Published on May 6 2004 by Kay Porterfield
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