THE RED HAT CLUB by Haywood Smith


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Rowdy southern feminist fantasy for women of a certain age.

The Mademoiselles, members of a high-school social club in 1960s Atlanta, have gone their separate ways, but some of them stayed the best of friends, morphing in middle age into the Red Hat Club. They meet for lunch (wearing red hats, of course) and dish the dirt. Here’s the latest: Diane’s husband Harold is probably cheating on her with a floozy. Sister Red Hats Georgia, Teeny, Linda, and SuSu swing into action. With the exception of Linda, happily married to a nice urologist who adores her, they’ve endured hellish divorces themselves, or they’re still married and running scared. The worldwide oversupply of avaricious bimbos is a constant worry to these once-loyal wives and mothers, who are determined to see to it that Harold gets his comeuppance. Diane begins to follow a paper trail, finding and copying documents that prove beyond a doubt he is hiding income and maintaining a hidden love nest—definitely not proper behavior for a distinguished southern banker. Adding taped phone calls and secret computer files to the stash of incriminating evidence can’t hurt. Sisterhood is powerful, and the Red Hats already know how to get themselves out of trouble before they get into it. Brief segues to fond reminiscences of their teenage selves, complete with heartthrobs, embarrassing parents, and physical changes, and then it’s back to the chase: Linda’s urologist husband confides that some of his male patients have come in with embarrassing minor injuries, thanks to a mysterious dominatrix who likes hurting men so much she does it for free. News flash: the unknown woman may be a former Mademoiselle! Will Harold be the next to get spanked?

Much livelier than Smith’s first (Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, 2001). Great title and fabulous cover art will have readers reaching for it.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-31693-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2003


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