From Publishers Weekly
Hot Flash buddies Faye, Alice, Marilyn, Shirley and newcomer Polly beat the postmenopausal blues by chattering, complaining, shopping, eating and laughing their way together through the series' third installment (after TheHot Flash Club Strikes Again
). Their would-be picture-perfect holiday season starts out at Shirley's Haven, a thriving spa serving mature New England women. Snowflakes fall and Christmas carols play as the friends decorate the tree. Then sweet-tempered Polly goes home to cook for her vegetarian daughter-in-law and nearly burns down the house; artistic Faye breaks her ankle rushing to pick her granddaughter up at the airport; practical businesswoman Alice finds her family expanding in spite of her misgivings; paleobiologist Marilyn struggles with caring for her elderly mother; and Shirley gives her young boyfriend money to self-publish his novel in the erroneous belief that he'll reciprocate with an engagement ring. More holiday fiascoes follow, from New Year's through Thanksgiving to another Christmas. Thayer creates sympathetic sexagenarians with adoring (if sometimes impotent) lovers, untapped talents and visions of future happiness. Cholesterol-laden binges make for sluggish prose, hot flash jokes pall and contrived scenes spill over with sentiment—yet who could fail to root for the five as they face aging with honesty, determination and a lot of help from their friends?
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In her third book in the Hot Flash series, Thayer returns to the original group of characters featured in the first book, The Hot Flash Club
(2003). Shirley, Faye, Alice, Marilyn, and Polly (the newest member of the club, from the second Hot Flash group) are gathering to discuss the upcoming holidays when the novel opens. The five are preparing to negotiate extended and fractured families, lovers, and, of course, those pesky hot flashes. Faye is looking forward to the arrival of her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchild, but a tumble derails her carefully laid-out plans. For Polly, who is excited about a visit from her son, his difficult wife, and their child, it's a fire that brings havoc. Marilyn is caught off guard when her devoted but impotent boyfriend proposes to her. Shirley is hoping for a proposal of her own when she spots a velvet box among her younger boyfriend's things. And Alice can't shake the holiday blues. Readers who loved the previous books as well as those new to the series will enjoy the adventures of these spirited women navigating family, love, and aging during the holidays. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved