The fabulous women from The Hot Flash Club are back in top form, welcoming the stressed-out and pampering-deprived through their discreet spa doors–as Nancy Thayer returns with a witty, sexy, and heartwarming novel. The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again also introduces four new women, ready for massages and seaweed wraps, each struggling to reconcile her secret dreams, biggest fears, and deepest feelings as topsy-turvy events shake up her life.
After eighteen years of trying to make peace with her husband’s cold-as-ice mother, Polly vows to be the perfect mother-in-law: loving, accepting, and determined to keep her mouth shut. Then her son marries Amy, a Birkenstocked gal whose organic farm and family ooze a rather creepy serenity. Ever the optimist, Polly puts her best foot forward . . . so why does it end up in her mouth?
A shy and brilliant professor-to-be, Beth has lived a sheltered life. Then she meets Sonny, a rugged, sexy carpenter who sweeps her off her feet. The problem? Beth may not survive his loud, affectionate, athletic family–especially when the very beautiful and earthy woman everybody wanted Sonny to marry is still hanging around the family dinner table.
Heiress to one of New England’s oldest paper companies, Carolyn is the driving force behind the brand. Now, at thirty-seven, the workaholic executive is finally pregnant with her first child, and high blood pressure is forcing her to do something totally alien: relax. But how can she let down her guard when her seventy-something father has gone and eloped with a young bank clerk named Heather, whose rather plain looks and unassuming nature still manage to fill Carolyn with suspicion.
A free-spirited photographer, Julia has married a man she loves, but he’s come packed with baggage. Tim is a widower with a young daughter, and Julia has bravely stepped up to the plate, doing her best to provide maternal support. But as if being pinned down by the child’s slightly manipulative ways and (dare Julia say it) spoiled behavior wasn’t enough, there’s Tim’s ex-mother-in-law, whose meddling is getting nastier by the week.
For Polly, Beth, Carolyn, and Julia, the time has come to stand up for what matters–for their passions, their hearts, and themselves. As they maneuver through family drama and embrace unexpected change, they come to find that life is much easier (and a lot more fun) when you’ve got friends, wine, and chocolate along for the ride.
Fans of TheHot Flash Club will be pleased that Shirley, Faye, Marilyn and Alice are doing fine although Marilyn still needs nudging about her dowdy wardrobe and Alice's Thanksgiving was a headache. But in this sequel, the fab menopausal four serve only to bring together a new quartet of gals who bond at Shirley's Boston-area wellness center, the Hot Spot Spa. The theme is in-laws. Polly is trapped into service to her late husband's granite-hearted mother, who is determined to die elegantly, while Polly's daughter-in-law, who has just given birth, is equally determined to keep Polly at arm's length. Delicate Beth has won the heart of rugged Sonny but not that of his mother. Julia is a dream stepmother to Belinda, who hasn't spoken since age five, when her mother died, but Belinda's grandmother hates Julia for stepping into her deceased daughter's place. Rich Carolyn is finally pregnant at 37, but the high blood pressure that brings her to the spa isn't her only problem: her widowed father's new wife, giggly, thick-ankled Heather, can't wait to get her hands on his checkbook. The ladies find one another's problems welcome relief from their own, and they plunge right in to expose Heather and sandbag Sonny's mother. The story moves along, but without the brass, bawdiness and heart of the flawed but lively first.