Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Time Warner Book Group
Release Date: April 1, 2004
ISBN: 0-446-67976-3
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre:   Nonfiction – Self-Help – New Age/General
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Kristin Johnson
Reviewer Notes:  Reviewer Kristin Johnson just released her second book, Christmas Cookies Are for Giving, co-written with Mimi Cummins, in October 2003. Her third book, Ordinary Miracles: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., is now available from PublishAmerica.

The Red Hat Society
Fun and Friendship After Fifty
By Sue Ellen Cooper

      The poem “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple” first announced itself to me in the gift shop of the Marriott Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs, California. Several years later, I began to see women in red hats wearing purple gathering in restaurants. The local newspapers sometimes ran stories on “The Red Hat Society.” After reading the official handbook, The Red Hat Society: Fun and Friendship After Fifty, I found myself wanting to join too…never fear, ladies under fifty, we can join, too, by wearing pink hats and lavender outfits!

       To say that The Red Hat Society is an official handbook would be contradicting the spirit of Red Hatting. To quote the Outback Steakhouse motto, the Red Hatters are “no rules, just right!” Red Hatter founder, Red Hat Society author and Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper and her crimson chapeau sisters, eschew the notion of Robert’s Rules of Order. However, they might go for Red Roberta’s Rules of Disorder.

       This delightful book introduces us to Ruby RedHat, a gal who exemplifies the spirit of Miss Piggy (who gets a mention here) and Auntie Mame, and acts as gleeful mascot for the entire Red Hat Society, founded by Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper. The whole thing has a great “Lifetime” ring, without man-bashing since several husbands, fathers, sons, and even one polite five-year-old boy fully support red Hats in all their red, red, and red glory! There’s a definite sisterhood and joie de vivre in the way the Red Hatters describe their fundamentals--emphasis on the “fun”--and the touching way they support each other through cancer, widowhood, empty nesting, spousal abuse, and life’s ups and downs (navigated, no doubt, in a red and purple balloon). Where is the Red Hat Society documentary? How about “Red Floyd: The Ball”? How about “Redhats”?

      At a time when so-called role models get younger and sillier, the Red Hat Society shows us that to be older and sillier is better…because you’ve earned it. The book makes you want to grab your red or pink hat, go thrift shopping, and celebrate yourself.