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Any good fiction stories with characters 40 plus??

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Showing 1-25 of 119 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 May 2012 09:00:19 BDT
ms. Kit Meg says:
I enjoy much well written fiction - Michel Faber, Tracy Chevallier even a little rom com with Lisa Jewell. BUT i really want to read about women over 40 (as i am). Much fiction happens around girl meets boy in her 20's/30's etc and features getting pregnant/trying not to get pregnant etc...and i want something different now. Having children isn't really a feature of women 40+, but older women seem to vanish from books (until they turn up middle class, elderly and solving crimes, or married to the local vicar and live a strange' jam making kind of life'-those books really do nothing for me)! Anyone know of writers out there who can still write a good story about 40 plus women (that don't just focus on them getting hot flushes)?? I mean, life doesn't end at 40 does it?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2012 09:06:31 BDT
Ethereal says:
Ha, I read the title as meaning 40+ number of characters not their age!

There's this:

The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

Posted on 29 May 2012 09:57:46 BDT
Fiona Hurley says:
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian: Fortysomething Nadia and her sister get together to stop their eightysomething father marrying a younger woman.
Prodigal Summer: Deana is a forest ranger in her 40s who has a relationship with a younger man.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: Siddalee is 40 and her mother is in her 60s.

Posted on 29 May 2012 20:00:29 BDT
monica says:
If you want something relatively undemanding and conventional, The Elegance of the Hedgehog might do. If I could tempt you with an outstandingly good literary novel that reveals the character of an old (as opposed to middle-aged) woman, then Glass .

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2012 21:31:45 BDT
Ethereal says:
I just ordered Glass so thanks for the tip!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2012 00:01:21 BDT
Oracle says:
I liked The Girl on the Swing and Wise Children, but agree it really is difficult to find good books about women over 40.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2012 03:28:14 BDT
Oracle says:
If you're interested in sci-fi, Ted Chiang's Story of Your Life has an older woman (and mother) as the main character, which is very, very unusual in a sci-fi novella. It's one of the stories in A Science Fiction Omnibus.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2012 20:43:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 May 2012 20:44:19 BDT
monica says:
Oh, goody. (Hope you read at least amazon reviews before ordering, though, so that you've an idea of what to expect . . . ) Please do let me know your opinion of it once you've read it--or given it up as a bad job. Of the several things I adore about Glass, the one I most admire is the voice of the narrator; I know of only one other novel with so strong a one. Hope you enjoy it, but in any case welcome your thoughts on it.

Ms Michael--if you're still following this, could you be a bit more specific? I've not read the authors you mention and assumed for some reason you were looking for books focussing upon either the domestic or the romantic & perhaps with protagonists you might identify with. If that's not the case, there are some very good books about middle-aged women going mad, falling deeper into alcoholism, or simply being unrelievedly horrid to others--none of them smacking of the domestic or romantic, though.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 07:09:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2012 08:22:24 BDT
Ethereal says:
I did look at the reviews but more importantly read the synopsis and sample and was intrigued by the voice and writing.
I will post back when I've read it, if not here then on the "What are you reading now" thread which is usually around - but it may take some time.
I've mentioned on other threads that as I get older my boredom threshold seems to lower and I have several books on the go at once. Occasionally one grabs me and I rush right through it ... it's half-term next week though so plenty of time to read.
And if it's not to my taste it was my decision to buy it, plus even if I don't finish a book I never consider it a waste of time or money because you can learn from others' mistakes!

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 08:28:45 BDT
I recommend The Folly Of French Kissing by Carla McKay about a middle aged woman who gets caught up in a scandal among Btitish ex pats in the south of France.

Posted on 31 May 2012 14:28:51 BDT
Lots of cozy mysteries feature women who are more mature than 20! If you like entirely silly, take a look at Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell. It's chick-lit for the middle-aged set! But it is nothing to be taken seriously. Virginia Lanier is a serious mystery type of books, although I don't recall her age. She runs a bloodhound business and the focus is largely on that rather than falling in love or having kids. Not entirely sure if that is because she has been there done that or just not a part of the books. Charlaine Harris wrote the The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Omnibus 1: Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, Three Bedrooms One Corpse, The Julius House (Aurora Teagarden Mystery) mysteries--they might be up your alley.


Posted on 31 May 2012 14:36:17 BDT
Don't miss the wonderful, THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY by Rachel Joyce.
Great stuff.

Ditto DALVA and RETURNING TO EARTH by Jim Harrison and anything by James Lee Burke (after 1990)--start with PURPLE CANE ROAD.

I also love the Paul Christopher novels of Charles McCarry...take a look at SECOND SIGHT (all of them can be read without the others).

Posted on 31 May 2012 15:25:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2012 16:15:21 BDT
Yes, 'Do not Exceed 50', by Lindsay Bamfield. The pitch for this novel won a competition with Authonomy.

Aimed at young-hearted older women who are fed up with ageism, and bored of reading about ditsy young things or the trials and tribulations of women who think they are the first to raise teenagers, this novel is for women who want heroines of their own age who don't have it all. Funny and wry, Do Not Exceed Fifty follows Xanthe on her dating quest, discarding hopeless cases: men who want women to cook for them; men with moustaches and men who have only just left home as she goes.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 19:13:34 BDT
LEP says:
These are romances etc featuring 'older' women:
Sex and the Serial Killer - Jennifer Skully
Dirty - Debra Webb
Pleasure Me - Monica Burns
Sweet Grace - Deborah Smith
Black Rose (2nd book of Garden trilogy) - Nora Roberts
Fast Women)
Tell Me Lies)
Anyone But You) - all above by Jennifer Cruise - most of her heroines are over 30
Robin Schone - Scandalous Lovers
Stef Ann Holme - Girls Night; also Leaving Normal
A Fine Work of Art - Shelby Reed
Off Her Rocker - Jennifer Archer
Hot Dish - Connie Brockaway
lisa Kleypas - Suddenly You
hot Georgia Wind - Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Just Like Heaven - Barbara Bretton
Feels Like Family - Sherryl Woods
Under the Wire - Cindy Gerard

Posted on 31 May 2012 19:33:17 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 2 Jun 2012 12:56:14 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2012 21:54:34 BDT
Sally J says:
I can recommend Breaking Tracks by Sally Hope Johnson. The main character is a 40+ woman whose life changes dramatically after an unfortunate series of eventsBreaking Tracks

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2012 01:22:59 BDT
Oracle says:
I think that the OP's problem is that she's looking for books that AREN'T cozy mysteries.

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 09:49:33 BDT
Fee fee says:
I have a few suggestions for's quite a mixed bag, hopefully you'll find something.

The Empty Nesters by Nina Bell
Daughters of Fire by Barbara Erskine
Hubble Bubble (Be Careful What You Wish for) by Christina Jones
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Gap Year for Grown-Ups by Annie Sanders
Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 11:48:05 BDT
paddy888 says:
The Awkward Squad This is a story of mid life crisis (male). funny, challenging, irreverent, sexual content,

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 17:11:41 BDT
Bookworm says:
Suzy Mcphee husband and lies
Nina Bell - The empty nesters
Catherine Ryan Hyde - When You Were Older
Diane Chamberlain books
Vanessa Diffenbaugh - The Language of Flowers

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 12:00:43 BDT
Go to the Transita Publishing website. They specialise in publishing the 'hen lit' genre (that's such a terrible tag I'm loathe to use it.) I'm just reading Stage by Stage by Jan Jones. Or go to and search for Dance like no One's watching and read my humble attempt at a rom com about a woman turning 50! Yikes, so old, How dare she be mentioned. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 13:09:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 13:13:21 BDT
RootMean says:
Try Matchbox Memories - most characters are over 40 - or even double it - deals with the generation gap and Alzheimer's disease.

Posted on 19 Jun 2012 13:16:55 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 19 Jun 2012 15:41:53 BDT]

Posted on 19 Jun 2012 16:23:20 BDT
Dogmatix says:
You want an older woman, no children, no romance, then I think Miss Marple may be right up your street.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 16:54:27 BDT
Joan Fallon says:
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  80
Total posts:  119
Initial post:  29 May 2012
Latest post:  28 Dec 2012

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