A novel for women of a certain age who are hot and bothered by society’s double standards – champagne happy hours mandatory – cubs get in free.
They tell you that forty is the new thirty, but try telling that to the men you want to date. Kat Maguire is successful, good-looking, and single … so when the dating pool starts getting a bit shallow, she and her friends decide to go swimming in a different spot – a place where the younger men are. After all, guys have been dating younger women since the dawn of time. But Kat and her friends soon discover that no matter what your age, love and life still comes with its share of triumphs, heartbreaks … and yes, romance.
To say that New York advertising executive Kat Maguire is having a bad day would be quite the understatement. At first she thought getting stuck without an umbrella, in a downpour, on her way to work for an important meeting with a client was the thing that would ruin her day. But less than a few hours later, sitting in a airplane wearing a soaking wet, dog-smelling suit she realizes a rain-destroyed outfit, losing her job to an age-prejudiced boss, and walking in on her younger boyfriend having cyber sex, ruined not only her day, but also her idea of how she expected her life to go.
Now Kat is on a plane headed back to her hometown of St. Louis in hopes of starting over in a place she has always loved. Kat does have doubts as to how she will pick up the pieces and begin again – especially because of her age, but she is determined to finally find happiness. Plus, by returning home she will be able to reconnect with her two best friends, Elise the happily married dermatologist, and Carla the successful and very famous local news anchor.
What she doesn’t expect upon her return is to see that her friends are also unhappy with the current state of their lives. However, the reunion of this trio of friends will help all three women to face their problems, and with the support of one another they will try to reinvent themselves into the women they have always dreamt of being.
At first I thought that The Cougar Club would be the typical fluffy, chick lit novel, but within 20 pages or so I realized that was not the case. While it is a light and at times very funny story, it is by no means fluff. The three main female characters of this book are in their forties, and although I am still in my thirties I felt a connection to them. Kat, Elise and Carla were all very natural characters whose thoughts about themselves, each other and life I could relate to. All three women were facing certain struggles in their lives, and they were issues that the average woman is likely to encounter or at least be familiar with. Issues such as the way that society views women as they pass from their twenties through into their forties, the cultural focus on youth, the opinions concerning older men dating younger women versus older women dating younger men – basically the ideas that when a woman hits a certain age she must do everything possible to appear younger or else she will be discarded and replaced with a newer model.
The subject of female friendship was also extremely well done. I enjoyed seeing how these women rebuilt their friendship and it really highlighted for me the importance of maintaining closeness with your true friends. This was perhaps the best part of the story for me, I found it refreshing to read about how healthy it can be for women to remain close throughout life, to provide support to one another, and most importantly to just let loose and have fun together. Overall this was a terrific book that I plan to pass along to one of my own close girlfriends, and I will be looking forward to checking out more from this author in the future.
About The Author
Susan McBride knows how to spin a good story. She got her ideas for her mysteries while she was a sorority pledge at the University of Texas, watching the Dallas debutantes practice their curtsies in study hall. She got her idea for The Cougar Club by wondering what happened to those same sorority gals twenty-five years later. The author of the best-selling young adult series, The Debs, Susan currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her much younger husband.
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