Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Review: The Cougar Club

By Melissa Amster

Has anyone ever told you that life stops at age 45? That's how Kat, Carla and Elise feel, but they refuse to let that adage stop them from living their lives. In "The Cougar Club" by Susan McBride, these three dynamic women have to deal with age-related pitfalls in their careers and personal lives and are not going to take defeat lying down.

The story begins with Kat getting laid off from her job and finding her boyfriend in a rather compromising position. She makes a drastic and impulsive decision that reunites her with Carla, a beloved newscaster who feels she is going to be replaced by a younger model and Elise, a dermatologist and empty-nester, who feels her husband is trading her in for a younger model, as well. The story is told from the perspectives of all three women so that you can see what is going on in each of their lives and how their friendships with one another help them through the roughest times.

This book is called "The Cougar Club" for a reason, as it relates to women in their 40's who are dating or seeking out men in their 20's and 30's. It's interesting to see the dynamics of the relationships and connections between these three women and the younger men who take part in their lives. There's a part in the story that describes a stereotypical "cougar" and it allows the reader to realize that these women don't fit that description, but that they happen to have a lot of life left in them and a lot to offer to a younger generation of men.

When I first heard of the book, I had wondered what I would have in common with these women, being 11 years their junior. However, I realized that I watch "Desperate Housewives" and can relate to the women on that show and that every generation has a similar set of hopes, dreams and worries. And, as Meg Ryan once said in "When Harry Met Sally": "I'm gonna be forty....someday!" Therefore, I decided to give "The Cougar Club" a chance and was very glad that I did. The witty banter and snappy dialogue kept this book going. The descriptiveness made me feel like I was right there, sharing in the experiences with Kat, Carla and Elise. I loved the friendship dynamic. It made me think of my relationships with my closest girlfriends. There were some interesting twists to the story that I was not expecting and that kept me on my toes as a result. Finally, I liked the fact that it took place in St. Louis, Missouri. I have never been there, but Ms. McBride took me on a wonderful tour of her hometown through the eyes of her characters. Overall, it was a quick read as it was difficult to put down.

I feel that "The Cougar Club" embodies all that chick lit stands for, in my opinion. It has friendship between women, romantic relationships, career issues and a "Sex and the City" feel overall. It made me want to go out for a night on the town with my girlfriends (or at least check in with the ones I don't get to see as much in person), if that says anything. I look forward to reading future novels from Ms. McBride and I highly recommend this one to all fans of chick lit.


Meg @ write meg! said...

Like you, I wondered if I would be a little too young to "appreciate" what the characters in The Cougar Club were going through -- but not so!

So glad you enjoyed this one -- I really liked it, too. I loved that the focus was really on friendship and reconnection, and found the whole book very fun and enjoyable.

Janine said...

Sounds fun. Thanks for the recommendation.