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Hot Flashes
 

Hot Flashes

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They were Depression babies--members of the Silent Generation that found its voice in the protest movements of the '60s. Twenty years later, they can only protest the encroachments of middle-age. Elaine, once the "political conscience" of their quartet, is now embittered and overweight. Joanne, gorgeous and trendy, is "unfulfilled," while Diana, a professor of anthropology, has distanced herself from most emotional ties. Sukie, the first to knit them all together (in her novels as well as in life) has just become the first to die. She leaves them an interesting, if inadvertent legacy: a journal that describes the painful break-up of her 20-year marriage and three men (her former husband and two lovers), thus making this the only book in which a three-day mourning ritual is converted into an impromptu singles weekend. Diana, who sees herself as "an authority on female rites of passage," is its narrator. Her rather heavy-handed insistence on the story's universality may lead readers to question just that. Unlike most women, those in Hot Flashes belong to a coterie that includes (as Diana often tells us) people like Shirley and Betty, Nora and Lois and Gloria. . . . The warmest current in this book stems from its understanding of friendship itself.
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