Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan

My second blog posting about a book read via Kindle is for Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan.

I'm really annoyed with myself over this one. I've read this book before, something I didn't realize until the third chapter of my re-read. Worst of all, I wasn't fond of the book on the first read, let alone the second time around. Ugh! Very frustrating.

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman begins with Rose living a rather conventional life with her husband, Nathan, and keeping busy with her career as a book review editor. Their two children are in their twenties, out of the house and just beginning their own adult lives.

Then (can we all say "midlife crisis" now?) Rose learns that Nathan is leaving her for Rose's younger assistant, Minty, and that Minty is also getting her job, which Rose obtained due to being Nathan's wife in the first place a decade earlier. What does a woman do? Why, retire to her lovely home and garden, of course, and cry.

I thought Rose waited around for life to happen to her as her marriage and career unraveled. Accept for the kindness of friends and acquaintances, I felt like she might still be sitting in her house and garden two years after her divorce, grieving. I wanted her to do something, anything, constructive and under her own initiative.

The only "revenge" I could identify from the book is that Nathan realizes the grass isn't actually greener on the other side of the marriage bed, and Rose doesn't take him back (thank God). Life with Minty 24/7 isn't the same as life with Minty as a piece on the side. Big surprise; welcome to the real world, Nathan, where people are complicated and all serious relationships are difficult. Day-to-day living is wearying and disheartening, often, regardless of who you have as your partner. You didn't realize that in twenty-odd years of marriage??

I know this book is a popular one for women's reading groups, so my opinion is undoutedly in the minority for not liking this one. I can see how there is certainly plenty of material for discussion in the book, whether you "like" what you've read or not, though.
And maybe I'm really so unhappy with the book because I would be so annoyed with myself if I reacted in the same manner in the same situation. I expected more from Rose, who comes through as intelligent, warm, and someone I could see having as a friend.

My overall personal rating of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman is a C+.


Anonymous said…
oops!!! Thats bad. The book does look very interesting though.
So many other people liked the book that I would suggest you go ahead with reading it if you have an interest. I know I'm in the minority for not liking it! :)

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