Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade by Susan Flett Swiderski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wisdom, Tears and Laughter. Pull up a chair!
I encountered this book the first time I read something by Susan Flett Swiderski (who is a very active and enjoyable blogger, among other things). She had a picture of a glass of lemonade with a twist of lemon, with the words 'Hot flashes & Cold Lemonade' on it. The photo itself was enjoyable. When I learned that it was actually a book cover, I had to pick up a copy. Being a cautious sort, I checked inside, skipped around the previews, and bought a copy.
The story starts out with a bang. Pearl is driving through her childhood neighborhood, remembering the happy moments, savoring the memories - and suddenly sees her father driving off with a woman who is not her mother. At her childhood home her mother has a couple pithy things to say about her husband and the situation. Reality - the existence of inconvenience, unhappiness and even tragedy - comes crashing down into Pearl's consciousness. And the story unfolds.
This book is a little like sitting down with someone you enjoy, who can tell a good story and somehow make a laundry list enjoyable. That is not to say that this book is a laugh-fest. it isn't. It touches a great many serious issues like adultery, aging, disillusionment, but it does so with a smile.
Wisdom and laughter are almost inseparable. Tears are not always tragic. And, sometimes, listening to someone telling a wise, deep story through laughter can stay with you longer than anything you have read to date.
Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade is skillfully written. The narrative, while very enjoyable, allows the story to move on even as it collects little items to salt in among your consciousness.
I really enjoyed this book and would suggest it to anyone. I hope more are in the works.
...and don't forget to read the postscript.
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