Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: Between a Rock and a Hot Place by Tracey Jackson

Title: Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty
Author: Tracey Jackson
Year Published: 2011

Genre: Adult Non-Fiction
Pages: 283
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Challenges: Non-Fiction/Non-Memoir
Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): USA (Los Angeles and New York)


FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for a TLC Tour

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): As she approached her fiftieth birthday, Tracey Jackson found herself bombarded by a catchphrase on everyone's lips. "Fifty is the new thirty." With a comedy writer's training and a screenwriter's eye for detail, Jackson skewers that particular myth with a hilarious, bare-knuckled, and ultimately practical appraisal of what middle-age really means today. Jackson not only faces the elephant in the room, she puts it under a (very large) microscope, confronting the truth about death, work, and sex in what the French call the "third age."
Review: After reading this book I realize that I don't read many books that make me smile and laugh out loud. This one did. Jackson has a gift for writing the funny, especially when in reality it isn't all that funny. She is the writer of Confessions of a Shopaholic and other movies, so you know right away that she is witty. While she tackles very important issues for women reaching middle age and menopause, she does it in a way that is comfortable, straight-forward, and educational while still amusing the reader. This is not only because she is funny, but because she uses herself and her family as her examples, baring pretty much everything in the process. A person who can laugh at themselves and learn something from it has my support.

The book begins with a look at turning fifty in general and how it has changed over the years. Jackson uses her own grandmother and mother as examples of our changing landscape. My question: are these two women alive and have they read this book?! Other chapters cover Menopause (to hormone treat or not as well as other trials), sex or the lack thereof, colonoscopies and other medical maladies, working, plastic surgery, and death.

Each topic is treated with the same combination of important information delivered with a wry sense of self-deprecation, humor, and honesty. I gotta' tell you, as someone who is 46 and has all of this looming in the not-so-distant future, I was paying very close attention, especially to the hormone section. These topics are ones that tend to get pushed aside, not talked about, and come as a bit of a surprise to a lot of women. Jackson's book is a great starting place to hear about it all in a candid manner without getting a medical guide.
Tracey Jackson, author

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