Fifty is Not a Four-Letter Word
by Linda Kelsey
In this novel, Hope Lyndhurst-Steele faces a milestone birthday. Not only is turning 50
memorable because it marks half a century, but because it officially begins her midlife crisis.
Suddenly fired from her glamorous job as a magazine editor, abandoned by her husband of 20
years, and fighting off new flab and wrinkles, she learns that her precious 18-year-old son
is sleeping with the neighborhood floozy. Her parents have their own problems and can offer
no support at this time. Likewise, her best friend finds her own life in turmoil, and vents
her frustration on Hope. It’s just too much for one middle-aged Jewish British woman to handle.
In an effort to overcome these obstacles, Hope travels, meets new people, visits a surgeon,
and embarks on a long-distance hiking adventure. Although none of her problems resolve
themselves easily, quickly, or completely, during the course of her fiftieth year, she can
finally gain proper perspective on what’s going on in her rocky little world. Fifty is Not
a Four-Letter Word takes place during that tumultuous year, with occasional flashbacks to
fill in the blanks of Hope’s life.
With little touches of humor and sadness, the story takes the reader on one woman’s
roller-coaster adventure in finding herself. It’s an entertaining read, with former magazine
editor Linda Kelsey’s casual writing style seeming to flow spontaneously from one chapter to
the next. Sorting out the names of Hope’s many friends, relatives, and acquaintances feels
overwhelming in the first few chapters, but becomes easier as the story progresses. Following
the text, a Reading Group Guide provides a dozen questions for readers to consider about the
book’s characters, style, and structure.
Spot 5 / Hachette Book Group|
More at Amazon.com|
NOTE: Profanity and Sexuality|
Holiday read: Mentions New Year’s Eve and Christmas
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie
Halpern is the author of Reel Romance: The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies,
Dreams on Film, A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews, and the co-author of
Connections: A Collection of Poems. Coming Soon: Passionate About Their Work:
Celebrities, Artists, and Experts Discuss Creativity.