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Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman: A Novel Paperback – December 30, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142003727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142003725
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

Didn't like the way Rose acted towards her husband, Nathan when he dropped his bomb.
Vanessa
Elizabeth Buchan's book REVENGE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN is about the destruction and ultimate resurrection of a single life.
Bookreporter
I actually became annoyed with the main character at times becasue I thought she was too much of a patsy.
Nittany Lioness

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on March 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Elizabeth Buchan's book REVENGE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN is about the destruction and ultimate resurrection of a single life. At the start of the book, Rose Lloyd's life appears idyllic. Married to Nathan for twenty-five years, she has concurrently raised a son and a daughter, forged a career as a book critic and editor, and kept a beautiful home. Life is comfortable, easy and lovingly predictable. She feels blessed by the ease with which her days pass. Whether she is tending her garden or dining out with colleagues, Rose is grounded and at peace.
But then one day, forty-pushing-fifty Nathan comes home and announces out of the blue that he wants out of their comfortable, easy, predictable existence. He uses the oldest cliché in the book: he has found love, or at least lust, with a younger woman. And, ouch, the younger woman is a good friend of Rose's. As if this devastation is not enough, a waterfall of catastrophic events happens in quick succession, sending Rose over the edge. She loses her job, a beloved pet dies, a child marries while in another country and her mother becomes ill. Buchan hits every potential nerve, leaving readers raw from the emotional barrage.
Rose sinks to the greatest depths of depression, drinking too much, eating too little and sleeping too much. Buchan spends many pages expertly plumbing the recesses of a devastated psyche and, for anyone who has ever experienced such grand and vast loss, Rose's self-questioning, self-hatred and self-abuse will be all too familiar.
As low as Rose sinks, ultimately, REVENGE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN is about resurrecting one's life from the unrecognizable heap of self that is left after loss --- and resurrect she does. Buchan never fails to write without great wit and Rose never loses sight of the irony of life.
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68 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on August 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Please ignore the silly title when considering this book. Its author, Elizabeth Buchan, is highly popular in the UK, where she is a reviewer for several newspapers. I had the pleasure of reviewing her two previous books that were released in this country: Perfect Love, a truly brilliant work; and Consider the Lily, which I did not like at all.
After a hiatus of several years (at least in the U.S.), we now have the treat of "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman," which concerns a well-to-do UK couple who both work for a prominent newspaper: he as a business manager, she as the head of the book review department. Nathan and Rose, a modern, undowdy couple, have been married many years, and are happily settled into middle age. They have two children in their twenties, an elderly cat, a beautiful garden (product of Rose's long obsession) and a house that has sheltered them throughout their lovely lives.
All is fine until Rose is blindsided by a sudden announcement: Nathan has somebody else and wants out. As a bewildered and devastated Rose faces that fact, she also learns in rapid succession that the other woman is someone she knows well-and that her own cherished job may be in as much danger as her marriage.
Rose's reaction to this upheaval in her life is predictable but different. So many hundreds of books have been written on this same subject that it is very hard to keep one's sympathy and attention. But Rose is not a whiner. And Rose is not a quitter. And above all, Rose, who is devastated but not broken, is a realist. How she copes with the blows that come her way is an inspiration to those of us who may have been in the same position, or who may be so in the future. At the very least, it's a good old-fashioned story for our times. At best, it's a wonderful model of how to be. No wonder this was a best-seller in Britain. It should be here as well.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By "racantwell" on March 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! In Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman author Elizabeth Buchan has given us a new heroine to love; confident, comfortable, charming and successful forty-eight year old Rose. Although we meet her on the eve of her undoing (at the hands of her convincingly conniving husband- and job-stealing assistant), Rose is no hand-wringing cliche of the wife-done-wrong. Instead our Rose navigates her new, and painful world with the grace, dignity and class we all wish we could muster when things come undone in our lives. Rose is not destroyed by her suffering, she is transformed in a deeply satisying and understandable way. I especially recommend this book for the quality of the writing which was consistently exquisite from page one through the final chapter.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cville Dad on April 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book is far sillier and simpler than the book itself; "Revenge" is actually a very sweet, poignant reflection on family, marriage, love and loss. Forty-something Rose Lloyd discovers how quickly the life she built can become disassembled the minute her head is turned. Her husband, Nathan, leaves her for her young assistant, Minty, to whom Rose also loses her job as editor of the books page of a big newspaper.
Throughout the novel, Rose reflects on her life with Nathan and their two (now grown) children, Sam and Poppy, as she struggles to find a way to make sense of things. There is no actual act of revenge as the title would have you believe; it's rather more a case of "living well is the best revenge," as Rose finally pulls herself together and resolves to get on with life without Nathan. Conversely, as Rose becomes stronger, Nathan starts to crumble under the pressures of living with a driven younger woman. Thus, Rose does indeed get some form of revenge, but she is always quite gracious about it, even having a few civilized conversations with Minty throughout the book.
Buchan is really a lovely, literary novelist who writes with warmth and introspection, and this, in my opinion, makes "Revenge" stand out a bit from other Brit chick lit.
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