GEEZETTES by Mary Ellen Erickson


The Adventures of Seven Retired Women
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Arizona ladies stir things up in their retirement circle.

North Dakota is a rough climate for old folks. Each year a new crop of retirees flees the snow and ice of the Dakotas for warmer climes in sunny Arizona. Here, Erickson introduces a fresh batch of transplants: Seven ladies (some school chums, others friends of friends) from way up north. The gals start a coffee club to forge social networks and make their new environment less intimidating. Christening themselves the “Old Broads,” the women meet weekly for breakfast, gossip and cards. Conversations gravitate toward grandkids and illnesses and then deteriorate into general gripe sessions. Life seems to be passing these ladies by as they succumb to passivity and surliness. That is, until one of the OBs, Melva, speaks up and acts out. Determined to make her golden years count, Melva challenges her friends to search for more substance in their lives. The group responds to Melva’s idea to shake things up. The first thing to tackle is a collective slump between the sheets. The ladies start steaming things up in their lives by organizing an outing to see the Chippendales strippers in action. As a result of their daring, romance starts to reappear in the lives of these seniors. Sizzling sex is just one of the benefits from a shift in attitude. From there, the ladies take on heavier burdens, such as dealing with alcoholism, and therein lies the downfall of Erickson’s work. Lacking coherence in tone and theme, the author alternates between dispensing prim preachiness to Dr. Phil–esque talk-show psychobabble. Both styles are irritating at best. It’s a shame Erickson inserted all these forced life lessons into her work–she’d have been better off crafting a Golden Girls of the Great Plains.

This novel should get the cold shoulder from any reader looking for a bit of sunshine.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58348-051-9
Page count: 207pp
Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Barbara Bannon