The intrepid women of The Hot Flash Club are back for the holidays, soothing jingled nerves and stressed shoppers in their exclusive spa and celebrating the joys of the season. In her witty and delightfully wisecracking prose, Nancy Thayer tells a heartwarming tale packed with fun, secrets, romance–and an ample dose of good cheer.
When the Hot Flash friends gather at the spa to trim the Christmas tree, they share steaming mugs of hot chocolate, a few laughs, and a vow to make this holiday one to remember. And it is–but not in the cheerful, ho-ho-ho way they expected. Instead, Christmas brings family conflicts, household accidents, plane delays–and that’s just the beginning.
After a hazardous holiday season, the women make resolutions that they intend to keep . . . in a perfect world. But life–and their friends and relatives–cause complications. Shirley lends financial support to her boyfriend’s schemes, which infuriates Alice, whose own son commits an act she’s not sure she can accept. Marilyn travels to Scotland and falls in love, but her octogenarian mother needs her at home. And when Polly and Faye find themselves pitted against each other by a younger woman, an they overcome this clash to make a new, entrepreneurial dream come true? Then real disaster strikes, bringing new challenges and surprising revelations.
Just as every month of the year throws new problems at us all, so too does the end of the year give us the chance to reunite and put these problems
into their proper perspective. And when the Hot Flash Five get together for the holidays, we should expect nothing less than the unexpected.
Hot Flash buddies Faye, Alice, Marilyn, Shirley and newcomer Polly beat the postmenopausal blues by chattering, complaining, shopping, eating and laughing their way together through the series' third installment (after TheHot Flash Club Strikes Again). Their would-be picture-perfect holiday season starts out at Shirley's Haven, a thriving spa serving mature New England women. Snowflakes fall and Christmas carols play as the friends decorate the tree. Then sweet-tempered Polly goes home to cook for her vegetarian daughter-in-law and nearly burns down the house; artistic Faye breaks her ankle rushing to pick her granddaughter up at the airport; practical businesswoman Alice finds her family expanding in spite of her misgivings; paleobiologist Marilyn struggles with caring for her elderly mother; and Shirley gives her young boyfriend money to self-publish his novel in the erroneous belief that he'll reciprocate with an engagement ring. More holiday fiascoes follow, from New Year's through Thanksgiving to another Christmas. Thayer creates sympathetic sexagenarians with adoring (if sometimes impotent) lovers, untapped talents and visions of future happiness. Cholesterol-laden binges make for sluggish prose, hot flash jokes pall and contrived scenes spill over with sentiment yet who could fail to root for the five as they face aging with honesty, determination and a lot of help from their friends?