Book Review January

Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade

Firstly - sorry for the late posting. Undertook 5 hours of sparring to raise money for a UK charity that helps prevent young suicide, we think we’ve raised over £2000 which is ten times what we expected, and I also entirely underestimated the toll on my arms. Made it through the week but not much typing happened! And if that wasn’t a good enough excuse, my care shifts have changed to waking nights. Good for your creativity, to be tired, apparently, as it unhitches your mind and lets things connect freely. It is not good for sentence structure or attention to punctuation so I’ll stick a secondary apology here in case none of the following makes sense.

The book I am reviewing is Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade by Susan Flett Swiderski. It’s a first novel, self published, but not an entirely wild gamble. I have been reading Susan’s blog for eons, it’s a welcoming, humorous place to go, pretty sure every comment gets a response, and I really appreciate the work it must take to write and host.

Hot Flashes is a light toned novel, which I was expecting, given the hospitable bubbliness of the blog. The main protagonist, Pearl Bryzinski, has hit menopause, and her beloved Daddy has taken off (with that blue haired floory in the flashy brown Pinto). This throws a challenge to her usual positive demeanour, so everyday life has an immediate conflict. The plot uses this, along with a car crash, a heart attack, a trip to Atlantic City and some other things I don’t want to spoil, to highlight Pearl’s journey into seeing things as they really are, and being able to value what she really has.

The characters are layered, believable, and able to drive the plot: this is the right way round for me. There’s some grittiness to the subject matter too - I was reading it thinking, this author has more to give. If I nitpick, I would say the incontinent friend, while a fabulous thing to be putting in a book, was a bit distracting, and the eldest son maybe needed a pinch more charm to really make sense of his success.

There’s talk of a next novel, totally different, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s a good thing, to see a talent developing. 

2nd Purple t-shirt from left = me, v. tired!


Harry Hamid said…
As time goes on, there seem to be fewer and fewer committed bloggers but the ones who remain seem to be better and better writers. Glad to hear another one is managing to take the step to novels. Sounds like a successful effort!
Thanks for giving my book a shout-out, luv. I do appreciate it. :)

mshatch said…
I read this book as well a year or so ago. Susan is a hilarious blogger and I am definitely looking forward to her next work!
Sounds like fun! I am sure Susan appreciates the plug.
Lisa Southard said…
I maintain that blogging is good for writing. Thinning out can be a good thing too, more room for us splendid people :-)
Lisa Southard said…
Well, I checked and I've been meaning to read and review your book since... 2013... Next time I should pre-order!
Lisa Southard said…
Yes, she's a hoot, and the next book is all ready on my TBR list :-)
Lisa Southard said…
She deserves it - and the book was fun, and it kept surprising me, which I really liked.
Geo. said…
Excellent review, Lisa. Susan is a very good writer. She's on my kitchen shelf next to "Adventures In Time And Weather". Writers amaze me.
Lisa Southard said…
Delighted to learn my book has such good company! :-)

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