good fiction about 45-55 year old women?

(65 Posts)
marriedtothecat Fri 20-Sep-13 16:05:21

Hello there. Can anyone suggest some accessible women's fiction (not too heavy/literary) featuring a woman in her late forties/fifties? I feel that there's a gap between chick lit/stories about having babies etc, and the books aimed at the silver-haired generation.

Pretty much anything by Anne Tyler, Joanna Trollope, Elizabethe Buchan, Jane Gardam, Anita Shreve.

Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville; I'd never have thought a book about quilts and bridges could be so wonderful smile

Levantine Thu 30-Jan-14 20:15:38

Clever girl by Tessa Hadley. Terrible title, but it's a great book

snozzlemaid Thu 30-Jan-14 20:11:14

Tangled Lives by Hilary Boyd.

DandyDan Wed 29-Jan-14 20:55:40

Gillespie & I - by Jane Harris

ireadnovels Mon 27-Jan-14 17:03:20

I have just finished The Secret Kiss of Darkness by Christina Courtenay. Published by Choc-Lit. I loved every page. For me it was an escape from the normal romantic stories that I read. This story is interwoven with two romance stories set in two different times. London 2013 Kayla Sinclair is about to get married and has been left fifteen thousand pounds from her Auntie. Kayla buys a Life-size painting of a man in the eighteen-century from Sotherby's for eighteen thousand pounds.
The second storie is set in Devon in 1781. Jago Kerswell who mother was a Gypsy. Jago is an Innkeeper who meets up with Lady Eliza who is married to Jago's half brother. Jago and Eliza start seeing each other in secret.
The two stories come together. The secret Kiss of Darkness is full of romance, Ghost, Gypsy fortune-telling and talking paintings.

Louise1956 Wed 13-Nov-13 22:52:02

Agree The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year was awful. I thought her husband should have chucked her out of bed. can't think why everyone kept indulging the silly creature.

The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam is about a woman who is in her forties, very entertaining story.

I think Mma Ramotswe in The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series is about forty, not sure about that.

Jane in Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym is in her forties, that is a good book, great characters and very amusing. the two sisters in Some Tame Gazelle are in their fifties I think.

Nepotism Sun 10-Nov-13 21:58:58

Mutton, by India Knight. One of those books I feel I should have written if only I had any talent!

susieangela Sun 10-Nov-13 21:25:15

Thanks, Racingheart, for suggesting my novel, The Making of Her. It's about three 50 year olds - an ambitious television producer, an abandoned wife and a reclusive rock star - whose lives are changed irrevocably during the production of an extreme makeover show. It asks whether change comes from the inside out or from the outside in. If anyone would like to write a review on mumsnet, I'd be happy to send a copy - first come, first served!

hellymelly Thu 17-Oct-13 23:30:29

I was going to suggest the Persephone Books and Anne Tyler but others have beat me to it. I'll be watching with interest though, as at 49,(+ having recently lost my Dad, dealing with my Mum who is in a care home near me, and juggling that with a 6 year old and an 8 year old) I would like to read more about this age-group. Fifty seems such a huge jump, looming ahead shortly, with menopause etc to come. I need fiction to prop me up!

GatoradeMeBitch Thu 17-Oct-13 23:20:55

Virginia Ironside? She's not a novelist as far as I know, but I enjoy her writing, especially 'Why growing old is great', and 'No! I don't want to join a bookclub'.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 17-Oct-13 22:51:32

The Woman who went to Bed has a terrible ending.

notagiraffe Fri 11-Oct-13 20:42:48

There's a few literary novels about women that age having affairs with much younger men:
Cheri and The Last of Cheri by Colette;
The Way I Found Her by Rose Tremain;
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.

Still on the subject of women in mid life falling in love with young men or boys:
Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller.
The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken (gorgeous book.)
Trumpet by Jackie Kay is narrated by an older woman (may be older than 45-55.)

All the Vera series novels by Ann Cleeves

Housesellerihope Fri 11-Oct-13 20:30:17

I loved Apple Tree Yard. It's one of those books I'm still thinking about months after reading it. I also love Anita Brookner.

On a lighter note I just finished The Nearest Thing to Crazy which is a psychological thriller whose narrator is juggling a mother in a care home and a daughter at uni.

notnowImreading Fri 11-Oct-13 20:24:27

Umm...the new Bridget Jones? Bridget is 51. Mavis Cheek's novels are funny and sweet too.

HilaryM Fri 11-Oct-13 20:18:13

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty is a brilliant cross-genre lit fiction psychological courtroom drama with the main protagonist in her early 50s. SO good.

tumbletumble Fri 11-Oct-13 18:43:15

Have you tried Joanna Trollope? I think Second Honeymoon, Best of Friends, The Other Family or The Rector's Wife might fit the bill.

Also How to be Good by Nick Hornby.

I was also going to say Back When We Were Grownups but I see several people have already suggested Anne Tyler.

ireadnovels Mon 07-Oct-13 19:55:57

Amanda Prowse novels appeal to all woman of all ages. Clovers Child by Amanda Prowse and What have I done by Amanda Prowse. Yew Tree Gardens by Anna Jacobs is another author who is adored by so many readers of all ages. I am 50 and love Amanda Prowse and Anna Jacobs novels.

MotherOfSoupDragon Mon 07-Oct-13 17:53:43

Love Jenny Eclair's books. Also enjoyed many of Judy Astley's.

racingheart Mon 30-Sep-13 23:15:24

The Making of her by Susie Nott Bower - about a woman aged 50 iirc who goes up for one of those TV makeover programmes.

NotCitrus Mon 30-Sep-13 22:59:30

Christopher Brookmyre's All fun and games until ...
Also various of his other novels, though not as the protagonist.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 30-Sep-13 22:31:23

The mother in We Need To Talk About Kevin
Brittle Joys, Sara Maitland
Early 40s but Isabel Dalhousie

Dumpylump Mon 30-Sep-13 22:29:57

I recently read "Life, Death and Vanilla Slices" by Jenny Eclair, and really enjoyed it. It wasn't what I'd expected at all.

NoComet Mon 30-Sep-13 22:25:43

As a 45y woman, I can assure you it would be unspeakably dull.

bunnybing Mon 30-Sep-13 22:18:49

Carol Shield's Unless is v good - one of the best books ever imo. Patrick Gale's books usually feature a cast of characters including middle-aged women

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 30-Sep-13 16:57:12

What about the Vera Stanhope detective series by Ann Cleeves? I have not read any of them (on my to read list) but I have read her Shetland series which I really enjoyed.

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