Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (2003)

by Elizabeth Buchan

The revenge in this book is the stereotypical living well, so readers should not expect any outrageous shenanigans from the wronged woman, 47-year-old Rose Lloyd, who is almost too kind and reasonable. She even remains compassionate to her husband, Nathan, after he walks out on her for a 29-year-old who is Rose's assistant at work and, Rose thought, her friend.

That blow is followed by others: The assistant, Minty, gets Rose's job as editor of a weekly book review. Nathan wants her to give up her treasured home and garden so that he can move Minty in. Rose's beloved old cat dies, and Rose's mother becomes ill.

Rose goes through the usual phase of too much sleep, too much booze, and too little food, but the title alerts us that she'll be OK. Her redemption seems too simple, in fact. An old lover reenters Rose's life just at the right time. Nathan gives her enough money to live comfortably. She is offered another job; no need to pound the pavement. Women who have been dumped for newer models will relate to Rose at the start but probably not so much by the end.

It's Nathan's situation that's more interesting, as he realizes the new life he was seeking with a younger woman will be as tied down as the old one. Maybe that's Rose's revenge. 

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