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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,732 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Buchan Narrator: Joanna David Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9781101432402
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The coming-of-middle-age story a whole generation of women have been waiting for … poised, witty, and emotionally resonant.

For twenty-five years, Rose Lloyd has juggled marriage, motherhood, and career with remarkable success. It has been a life of family picnics, books and wine, a cherished house, and her own exquisitely designed garden—sunny and comfortable. But then the carefully managed life to which Rose has become accustomed comes crashing down around her when—over the course of a few days—her marriage and her career both fall apart. Can Rose, whose anguish is barely softened by the ministrations of friends and grown children with their own problems, ever start over? Not easily. But it’s amazing what prolonged reflection, the slimming effect of a lost appetite, a new slant on independence (and a little Parisian lingerie) will do. Especially when an old flame suddenly reappears. 

Full of humor, clever insight, and a whimsical sense of the absurd, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman is an irresistible and finely written fantasy for anyone who ever wondered what a certain age would look like from beyond the looking glass—and who will find it ripe with promise that the best days are yet to come.

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Quotes & Awards

  • This ‘Middle-Aged’ woman’s revenge is delightfully dishy.  The 'revenge' in the title has little to do with getting back at people.  Rather, Buchan celebrates the patience and wisdom that only age brings.  While middle-aged women will relish the novel, it's a cautionary tale for husbands with eyes glued to the pertly twitching buttox of that office minx.  Beware.  Better that aging first bride than the girlish tendril you seduced. She just might start craving what you thought you had escaped... USA Today

    "Middle-aged or not, readers will find this book funny and sad, serious and light.  Bottom line: Get REVENGE.

  • Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman is an eye-catcher of the first degree—even if most of those eyes are starting to disappear into the folds of their faces.... I raced through [the book] like a woman two weeks late for her hair-color appointment...[it] is a guilty pleasure. Rocky Mountain News
  • It would be easy to turn Rose's story into a fantasy of revenge, like Fay Weldon's "The Life and Loves of a She-Devil," or a feminist awakening along the lines of "The Women's Room," by Marilyn French. But what makes Buchan's take on the situation so appealing is that she sidesteps the expected plot devices. It takes more than misfortune, even if it is extreme, to change the basics of character. Rose never has been the kind of woman to brood on her hurts or to nurse a desire for revenge. It wouldn't be realistic for her anger and hurt to drive her in that direction now. Buchan skillfully brings the reader into Rose's days, and while there is anger there is also sadness, memories both bitter and sweet, and worries about the future.... Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman is not about revenge as much as it is about change. It is a nicely written piece of chick lit that ends up being thought-provoking in its restraint.... This is a novel that is about a three-dimensional woman, not a stereotype, and she's a character that grows on the reader while she grows into a new stage of her life. Denver Post
  • The revenge of an abandoned spouse is a dish best served in the company of her or his long-lost love. And in fairy tales (or novels such as Elizabeth Buchan's Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman) that's exactly what happens. Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • An excellent story…strong, imaginative power…wonderful atmosphere Joanna Trollope
  • A gorgeously well-written tale: funny, sad, sophisticated Independent

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Fleur Gessner | 2/17/2014

    " Did not like this book at all. Decent writing but terrible plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jewett | 2/13/2014

    " This book was just so-so in my opinion. Not bad enough to put down, but not riveting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geralyn | 2/9/2014

    " there was no revenge; however the book was well well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Belinda | 2/6/2014

    " Delicate and insightful handling of the end of a 25-year marriage. The storyline has very well placed "flashbacks" that help shape the characters and gently reveal their weaknesses and strengths. This is chick lit with class and dignity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy Gehman | 1/21/2014

    " A three minus. I expected this book to be funnier. I guess I don't appreciate English wit. I think the book has a decidedly sad undertone. Rose is left by her husband of 25 years as he falls for he er assistant. Worse yet, she loses her job to this same woman. In the end she pulls her new life together, and deals with of her 2 children and their significant others. Obviously good enough to keep me reading, but.....was it worth the time? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly | 1/20/2014

    " I had a very hard time empathizing with any of the characters - I actually loathed most of them. The story itself was fine, perhaps a bit uninspired. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luann | 1/14/2014

    " Having just turned 40 I was more than intrigued by the title of this book. I had a hard time with her "transitions" between the present and past, but once I figured it out I was okay with it. While this story was set in England - and usually not my favorite - I enjoyed this book. I really liked Rose - the main character - and how real she was. I can't relate to the losing my husband and job, especially in the same week - but I think I'd react the same way she did. She admits to falling apart at the news of her husband leaving her, she eventually comes to recognize that her life would go on and she was very happy with the life she had lived and enjoyed to that point and was okay moving on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helen | 1/12/2014

    " Nice quick little read. Rose's husband leaves her for Minty, Rose's assistant, who then gets Rose's job and Rose is fired. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sunbonnetquilter | 1/7/2014

    " well written book about midlife and marriage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 12/27/2013

    " Loved it! Don't be fooled by the cheesy title - this is thoughtful, intelligent chick lit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy Journell-Hoch | 12/25/2013

    " Had to get past the language but enjoyed the book. Enjoyed how Rose started over & moved on with her life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dona | 12/5/2013

    " The English flavor was interesting but in the end was underwhelmed by the book, no surprise in the conclusion, just a pleasant read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Rizza | 11/21/2013

    " Not a big fan of British fiction. I found it too wordy and the characters too whiny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 11/21/2013

    " Good book. Made me really think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 11/20/2013

    " Fairly well-written. Some very real, poignant moments RE how relationships change over time, motherhood, what it's like to grow older. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 9/25/2013

    " Who needs a man! Rose was the ideal heroine--had enough self-esteem to mourn that chapter of her life and move on...Thanks Minty for the unexpected blessing of freedom for Rose's middle years!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J | 6/26/2013

    " Recovery from a painful messy divorce and losing her job at the same time teaches some great lessons. The best revenge is to live well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Beecher | 5/22/2013

    " A good read; sensitively written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 4/20/2013

    " "I wrote the book because I was interested in the stage of life where it is possible to look both back and forward, and it is a very interesting place to be". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 2/7/2013

    " a good story and well written about mid life and choices. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jj | 1/17/2013

    " a good read ,predicatable with no cliff hanger= i would have liked a more erotic ending-but overall a safe and comfortable read! anyone's life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rbrooks9645 | 12/8/2012

    " So far, cliche-ish about men, but it has me hooked. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shari | 9/7/2012

    " This book told a familiar story. When men get to be middle aged and have accumulated a little wealth, they think that they deserve a cute, young wife. The protagonist in this story encounters additional challenges with this lifestyle change. Not great literature, but... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hilary | 7/26/2012

    " I was bored, couldn't finish, moved on to something else. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 4/26/2012

    " Now this book, I thoroughly enjoyed. You can feel the pain that Rose is in and when she overcomes her broken heart, you have to cheer for her and all the other women who have achieved the same thing in their lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 3/3/2012

    " Eh. It was "ok." I've read books that were more of a bore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/16/2012

    " You wouldn't expect it from the title, but this is literary fiction. Fashion editor Rose is forced to begin a new life when her husband leaves her for her assistant editor. She succeeds with help from friends, despite family complications. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy Hillis | 5/25/2011

    " OK - I've started this book twice now and wanted to love it. Sadly, I cannot love it. Something about it is wrong, wrong, wrong. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 5/3/2011

    " OMG, this book was so damn funny! I loved it because I could identify with the main character. This was a well-written story. Anyone would enjoy reading this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 4/13/2011

    " brought up old issues -- very good at evoking emotion "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 4/5/2011

    " This is probably more realistic, but I wanted something a bit more explosive. Not so much depression and self-loathing, even though even those weren't delved into all that deeply. It just never seemed to climax. Very steady throughout.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doneen | 2/17/2011

    " Loved this book and love this author. And I don't usually read British authors... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Penny | 2/15/2011

    " Middle aged woman gets dumped for a younger woman, she gets over it. Lame. Lame. Did I say lame yet? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/29/2011

    " I have to admit being drawn into reading this book due to its title. Once started, it dawned on me that it was a typical "woman's amusement" book (for lack of a better label). Wouldn't spend a lot of time in this genre but it was a diverting quick-read.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 1/14/2011

    " Good book. Made me really think. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 11/26/2010

    " don't even remember it at this point. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheacatt | 11/18/2010

    " This book just made me angry, lol. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Virginia | 10/16/2010

    " good chick lit book has a sequel "

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About the Author
Author Elizabeth Buchan

Elizabeth Buchan is the author of many acclaimed novels, including the bestselling Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman and the prizewinning Consider the Lily

About the Narrator

Joanna David is a highly acclaimed actress whose theater credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, The Ghost Train Tattoo, and The Deep Blue Sea. On television, she was the second Mrs. de Winter in the BBC’s Rebecca, while among her other credits are Foyle’s War, The Forsyte Saga, The Glass, Dalziel and Pascoe, Midsomer Murders, and A Dance to the Music of Time.