Saturday, April 9, 2011

Book Spotlight & Giveaway ~ Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan

Author ~ Elizabeth Buchan
Publisher ~ Penguin

About the book ~  

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman is a modern Everywoman's tale. It is the funny, heartfelt, and sad—but definitely not tragic—story about love and how it touched forty-seven-year-old Rose Lloyd. As a college student, Rose fell in love with a man. His name was Hal and he loved her but also wanted to roam the world. Then she met Nathan, who wanted to marry her and raise a family. Rose loved Nathan, too, although for different reasons. She made a decision.

One wedding, two children, and twenty-five years later, Rose is a book editor for a weekly London paper where husband Nathan also works as the deputy editor. Rose is at peace in her life, happy and secure in the knowledge that she has successfully balanced the often conflicting demands of home and career. But when Nathan announces that he is leaving her for another woman, the stability she has always relied upon is unexpectedly gone.

Nathan laments, "I feel imprisoned by the walls I've built around me," just before he tells Rose that he's leaving her for Rose's own trusted twenty-nine-year-old assistant, Minty. Young, attractive, and incredibly ambitious, Minty has designs on more than Rose's husband. The same day that she loses her husband, Rose discovers that she is going to be replaced on the job by none other than Minty, who promises to bring a younger look and tone to the book section.

Out of a job, a marriage, and soon to be ousted from the cozy home and garden she's lavished with care, Rose is suddenly alone with too much time on her hands. While her friends and children rally around her, Rose is dealt a blow by her mother, who implies that it was Rose's selfish decision to work outside of the home that destroyed her marriage. Rose sinks into despondency, begins to drink a little too much, and wonders if her mother is right. But when in the midst of her mourning, her beloved cat, Parsley, dies, Rose realizes, "I had had enough. I wanted my grief dead." She decides to live—and that's when the fun really begins.

With the complacency and safety of her married life and career gone, Rose remembers how a long-ago trip to Rome showed her that most people lived, not in the radiant semitransparent envelope that writers described but in a plain brown one with which they had to make do but it was better than nothing: "I was sixteen . . . and in love for the first time—with being there, out of England. Rome was noisy, filled with smells—coffee, exhaust, sweat, hot buildings—and its flux of life, noise and sensation flowed through me, intensely, luxuriously felt." As Elizabeth Buchan weaves the narrative back and forth between Rose's youth and middle age, we see Rose once again reach out for the meaning in life and to courageously explore the life-altering decision she made long ago. What she discovers is sweet revenge, indeed: the promise of better days ahead, no matter what age we are.

About the author ~ 

Elizabeth spent her childhood moving home every three years - including living for brief periods in Egypt and Nigeria before moving to Guildford, York and Edinburgh.

After graduating from the University of Kent at Canterbury with a double honours degree in English and History, she began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books. This was a job which required the hide of a rhinoceros, a nimble mind and the - occasional - box of tissues. People tend to shout at blurb writers but they are resourceful creatures which she and the team proved by continuing to produce a stream of copy for back jackets through thick and thin. Looking back, it was a golden era. Not many people are paid to spend their time reading through the treasury which is Penguin Books and there was no better education. Later, after having married and producing two children, she moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time which was something she had always planned to do since childhood - when she was frequently caught reading under the bedclothes with a torch after being put to bed which gave both books and reading a deliciously subversive tinge.

It was not an easy decision to take the gamble but she has never regretted it. As a writer, she has travelled all over the world and one of the many pleasures of the book tour has been to meet readers of all ages and to share with them a mutual passion for books and reading. She is in touch on line with many of them.

Elizabeth Buchan's short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for the Sunday Times (UK) and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes, and also been a judge for the Whitbread (now Costa) awards. She is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and a past Chairman of the Romantic Novelists' Association.

Visit Elizabeth's website
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Elizabeth's other books ~ 

I have one (1) copy of this book to give away.

GIVEAWAY Rules for entering:

* This contest is open to residents of USA only. 
* Please complete the form below - do not leave information in the comments - it will not count.
* One entry per person. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
* The contest will end on April 23rd at 11:59PM EST; 1 winner will be selected and contacted thereafter.
* Once the winners are contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam filters!).
* Book will be shipped directly from the me.