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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.

OP’s posts: |
Forester Fri 20-Sep-13 16:11:28

Eloise by Judy Finnigan. I think the main character was in this age bracket.

TunipTheUnconquerable Fri 20-Sep-13 16:12:56

If you're happy with mid-twentieth century try Barbara Pym.

If you are ok with literary-but-not-too-heavy try Charlotte Mendelson.

outragedofsuburbia Fri 20-Sep-13 16:15:43

The Agatha Raison series of books by MC Beaton. She starts off being 53.

marriedtothecat Fri 20-Sep-13 16:30:04

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm wondering if you all feel that there is rather a lack of contemporary women's fiction in this area though? I feel there is, but am happy to be proved wrong! There are so many issues affecting this age group (ageing parents/children leaving home and, yes, menopause, ugh) but 45-55s seem to be classed along with the 60-plus lot in that rather patronising "oh look, you can still have a second chance at life" sort of way..

OP’s posts: |
marriedtothecat Fri 20-Sep-13 16:32:00

I like the look of the Charlotte Mendelson books though - thanks for that!

OP’s posts: |
CakesAreNotTheAnswer Fri 20-Sep-13 16:36:40

Elizabeth Berg, Never Change

HandragsAndGladbags Fri 20-Sep-13 16:38:27

The Ladykiller by Martina Cole

highlandcoo Fri 20-Sep-13 17:29:19

Joanna Trollope often features women of this age in her fiction.

The Red House by Mark Haddon tells the story of a mid-age brother and sister and their respective families who rent a holiday house together following the death of their mother.

Some interesting female characters in Philip Hensher's The Northern Clemency too.

And then there are all the Persephone books, Greenbanks by Dorothy Whipple being one of the best known, but there are loads.

Jeremiad Fri 20-Sep-13 17:30:31

At Sea, by Laurie Graham. In fact, anything at all by Laurie Graham. She's hilarious, and a genius. But 'At Sea' should be available on prescription.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 20-Sep-13 18:49:32

Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Bernadette's 50ish.

Thisisaeuphemism Fri 20-Sep-13 22:09:15

I love love loved 'where dyou go Bernadette' - it's great.

I liked Jk row longs casual vacancy - men and women of all ages but she does the middle aged women particularly well I think.

Thisisaeuphemism Fri 20-Sep-13 22:09:36

Rowling - sorry

BigPawsBrown Fri 20-Sep-13 22:10:41

Someone else's wedding by Tamar Cohen

Thursdays in the park

Anything by Elizabeth noble

Foosyerdoos Fri 20-Sep-13 22:27:51

The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend. I found it funny and very moving.

valiumredhead Fri 20-Sep-13 22:37:35

Was just about to suggest the woman who went to bed for a year.

Personally I thought Eloise was the worst book I've ever read, it was like an 11 year old's attempt at an essay. Can't believe her editor let that be published!

valiumredhead Fri 20-Sep-13 22:37:56

Sorry Forestergrin

penguinpaperback Fri 20-Sep-13 23:40:25

Yes there is a gap...I'm in the 45-55 group. :-) How about Anne Tyler, the late Carol Shields, Alice Munro or Tessa Hadley? All cover family life but tend to be more centred on children in their late teens, or who have left home, married. Others, William Trevor, Elizabeth Taylor or Elizabeth Bowen.

Quangle Sat 21-Sep-13 00:08:15

Margaret Forster is v good for this space. I read 'Have the men had enough?' years ago and it's still with me.

Quangle Sat 21-Sep-13 00:12:23

But yes you have a good point OP. the 'great American novelists' have male protagonists this age, still having affairs because they are, of course, so desirable...

Many fewer women characters that I can think of. Perhaps Anita Brookner's characters are this age but they are all dreary, lonely ladies who take rooms in hotels and look at the curtains thoughtfully, if I recall correctly.

timidviper Sat 21-Sep-13 00:12:38

There is an age gap. I have never realised that but probably because I read more crime type stories that are not particularly female-focussed.

I hated The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year, thought every character in it was a self-indulgent twat. Sorry

Stravy Sat 21-Sep-13 00:14:08

I'm writing one. It will be ready in 10 years (optimistic estimate)

AlisonClare Sat 21-Sep-13 11:12:12

'Family Album' - Penelope Lively.

AlisonClare Sat 21-Sep-13 11:17:30

'Breathing Lessons' - Anne Tyler

blurb from back cover: 'Breathing Lessons covers the events of a day in the life of Maggie Moran, nearing fifty, married to Ira with two children. Her eternal optimism and her inexhaustible passion for sorting out other people's lives and willing them to fall in love is severely tested one hot summer day...'

Just re-read it. Loved it completely.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 21-Sep-13 11:23:07

Anita Brookner. Also Patricia Atkinson's biographical books about making a success of a vineyard in Provence after her husband left her at the beginning of his dream.

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