Ballantine, Jan 2004, 21.95, 324 pp.
The four middle aged women meet at a Boston party where they share doubts about their future in light of recent defeats. The quartet hits a chord and vows to help one another, forming the aptly named Hot Flash Club.
Faye the widowed artist feels as if she cannot paint anymore. However, helping scientist Marilyn solve a locked door mystery goes a long way for her to recover her confidence.
Marilyn caught her long time spouse cheating and has doubts about her son's fiancÚ. She feels people reject her because of her intelligence. However, Faye shows her how to reach her artsy side and Shirley teaches her the art of relaxation through massage.
Shirley the masseuse wants her own spa as she carries her work table from client to client. Alice helps her see her real worth while Faye and Marilyn encourage her to seek some of her dreams.
Alice receives boosts of confidence from her new pals and unkinking massages from Shirley. She for the first time in a four decade business career competes for a job against a younger healthier female.
With each other to assist one another the foursome regroup to overcome hot flashes and life's curveballs and find friendship, support, and a renewal of spirit.
Though the use of flashbacks tell how one of the protagonists got to the current situation, that technique slows down the flow of the story line. Still the four key players are solid and fans will enjoy this middle age chorus line chick lit tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner