Blog tour: 19 to 25 July 2021
Eliza is angry. Very angry, and very, very hot.
Late for work and dodging traffic, she’s still reeling from the latest row with husband Paddy. Twenty-something years ago, their eyes met over the class divide in oh-so-cool Britpop London, but while Paddy now seems content filling his downtime with canal boats and cricket, Eliza craves the freedom and excitement of her youth. Fifty sounds dangerously close to pensionable: her woke children want to cancel her, a male motorist has just called her a ‘mad old bat’ and to cap it all her hormones are on the run. Who knew menopause was puberty’s evil older sister?
But then a moment of heroism draws an unexpected admirer, and Eliza sets out to discover whether the second half of life can be a glass half full after all. She might suffer mental fog and night sweats – and have temporarily mislaid her waist – but this is her renaissance.
Set in Warwickshire, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Woman of a Certain Rage tells the story of Eliza Finch, 50, menopausal and frustrated by life in several ways! She is married to Paddy Hollander, a bespoke cabinet maker, and they have three children, Joe (19), Summer (17) and Edward (12).
When we first meet Eliza, the family’s dog, Artemis (Arty), has just died and she is still in mourning and has a big argument with Paddy after he suggests they get a new puppy.
She’s feeling misunderstood by her husband, who can’t empathise with her menopausal symptoms (hot flushes, crazy mood swings, forgetfulness, overactive bladder, loss of sex drive, insomnia), and is feeling unloved and unwanted by her children, who seem to dismiss her opinion and rather look down on Eliza and act embarrassed by her.
Eliza is stuck in a rut and frustrated by life, mourning her younger carefree days and her loss of identity, fed up with being overlooked and ignored. Paddy is more interested in his work, the family canal boat and cricket. Her children cause her lots of worries – from her youngest son, Ed, who is autistic and very fixed in his ways and anxious about his routine, to her teenage daughter, Summer, who is at a difficult, impressionable age, and her oldest son, Joe, who is in his first year at uni and struggled with depression when he was younger. She also has strained relationships with her elderly parents, Peter and Fiona, and with her younger brother, Miles, who has just come out as gay after three marriages to women and fathering two sons. Her older sister, Jules, and her control-freak husband, Reece, also drive her crazy!
Eliza always wanted to be an actor and studied drama at university but she wasn’t very successful and, being too tall, struggled to find suitable roles. She then did radio work and is now a voice artist, narrating non-fiction and fiction books, and also works part time for an all-female estate agency doing viewings.
She gets up to some great escapades – there’s a particularly funny one where she experiences road rage and ends up in a daring rescue mission! Eliza also has amusing encounters with an Italian man called Matteo, who runs the local restaurant, and she gains a Japanese tourist friend who keeps popping up when least expected.
Woman of Certain Rage is an honest, thoughtful and hilarious account of a menopausal, fifty-something woman who is struggling with her life, jobs, husband, marriage, children and her parents and siblings, while trying not to explode with rage or melt into a puddle due to her emotions and internal heating system going haywire!
The book is entertaining, amusing and poignant and has some great observations and witty one liners. I’m in my early forties, so not quite menopausal yet, but I still found Eliza’s turbulent emotions and frustrations very relatable and loved her wry sense of humour!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book – it was a great slice of humour and despite being a fairly chunky book, I zipped through it, chuckling away at Eliza’s antics! It’s not my usual type of read but I could identify with the main character well and was rooting for her to overcome her various challenges!
I’m not sure if I’ve read any of Fiona Walker’s other books but I’ll definitely be checking them out now.
Buy the book
Woman of a Certain Rage by Georgie Hall can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in hardback, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks.
About the author
Georgie Hall is the alter-ego of best-selling author and woman of a certain (r)age, Fiona Walker. Stepping aside from her usual big-cast comedies to write as Georgie, she has her sharp-eyed wit firmly fixed on midlife, marriage, motherhood and menopause. Woman of a Certain Rage is for women everywhere who refuse to be told it’s too late to shake things up.
Thanks to Avneet Bains at Head of Zeus for my copy of Woman of a Certain Rage and for my place on the blog tour.
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