4 Jul 2013



Life begins at fifty .....

Well, it certainly does for Hope, though not at all as she had planned. She reluctantly hits her half-century on New Year's Day and within the week her career, her marriage and her self-esteem are all in free-fall. But Hope has guts - and a sense of humour.

By the end of her annus horribilis, she has acquired a taste for designer underwear, climbing mountains - and the memory of one perfect night in Paris.
....... Outer back cover.

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): May 2003.
Just as I was about to get it right, at the very moment I knew we were on the road to recovery, Jack walked out.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 206): And look at your dog. Certifiable. Vicious. A tiny little mutt with a Napoleon complex who can't leave the house without a muzzle and a halti in case it attacks the nearest Alsatian.

MY THOUGHTS: Essentially what I guess could be described as chick-lit for the more mature reader. Fifty Is Not A Four Letter Word is a tale of transitions, of changing relationships. The story of Hope Lyndhurst-Steele, a character that I'm sure most of us will recognise if not exactly like (I know I didn't).

In many ways a very universal novel of a self-obsessed, high-flying, career-orientated, middle-aged woman who is only just beginning to realise just how her life choices have effected others and yet in other ways a very British novel that rather cleverly conveys the British psyche albeit in a somewhat cliched way.

Both totally what I was expecting and yet oddly enough not at all what I was expecting. Entirely predictable in how the story of Hope panned out, what I wasn't anticipating was the incredibly moving account of her relationship with her mother which for me made the novel what it was.

Any gripes? Apart from what seemed like the acceptance of all these extra-marital affairs, I really did find the use of coarse language totally unwarranted and not at all in keeping with the characters.

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Lindsay said...

It's nice that this wasn't exactly what you expected in some ways, even if it was in others. I haven't read this novel but I don't like coarse language unless it really does fit with the story or characters.

Naida said...

Unnecessary use of bad language is a turn off for me as is the acceptance of extra-marital flings but this book sounds entertaining nonetheless.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Hmm, I think this has been on my shelf for quite a while. Maybe someday.

Kelly said...

While I'm not sure I would seek this one out, I'd probably read and enjoy it if handed to me. From what you've said, I have a feeling the main character would annoy me somewhat.

Brandi Kosiner said...

I like the sound of the mother daughter relationship

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Nice to see some good chick lit for older readers.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I don't think this one is for me. I don't like cheating and if it is that accepted, I think it would bother me as well.

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your thoughts about this tale of transitions (wonderful phrase).

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I'll pass on the chick-lit, if you don't mind, especially as I have already passed the 'Fifty Is Not A Four Letter Word Stage' and by the time you get to Fifty Four, it literally IS a four letter word!!

Plus, I can't stand the use of unnecessary foul language. Even when it is used within the context of the story it's bad enough, but when used gratuitously as it seems to be everywhere these days, it just becomes a cringeworthy annoyance. It illustrates all too well the complete ineptness of people to find sufficient words from what is an extensive English vocabulary, without resorting to the easy, blasphemous option!

Rant over .... Have a great weekend.


Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Great review- very helpful. I love that the book was what you were expecting and not what you were expecting at the same time. I am curious about the MC's relationship with her mom.