When two women making significant changes midlife, meet on holiday in India , they form a friendship which takes them into situations neither could have imagined.
Lou leaves a long term marriage to pursue an independent life and career, while Ali looks to walk away from life as a serial mistress and commit to a long term relationship.
Women of a Dangerous Age is a refreshing read with realistic portrayals of both main characters – midlife women are interested in romance, career, style and new beginnings, and it was good to read a book that recognised that.
I caught up with author Fanny Blake to ask her how the book, and characters came about:
Changes as big birthdays approach
“I wanted to write a book which captured women’s thoughts on life as ‘big birthdays’ approached. People often think ‘this is it’ and I wanted to show that it is never too late to change.
I also wanted to show that there are reasons why women take a particular path in life- Ali had been a serial mistress up until this point, and yet as we learn more about her it is still possible to be sympathetic towards her choices and her life.
Lou is a wife making the difficult decision to walk out on her marriage.
I chose to have them meet in India, and particularly connect at the bench at the Taj Mahal, as the bench is so symbolic following Diana’s iconic photograph.
I wanted to explore friendship between women, particularly a new friendship at a time when both were going through change. It was important that neither character was seen as a victim. The book is not based on anyone I know, but the characters do have the mindsets of people I know – love of clothes, make-up- not slippers and hairnets at the point of turning 50! Both main characters had ‘youthful’ mindsets.
India represented a fresh start for both characters as they returned home where we follow the new chapters in both lives. Life is short, and it was interesting to see how both characters were open to change.”
I asked Fanny what advice she would offer new writers:
“Write something every day – even if it’s just 200 words and read as much as possible. Absorb how other people write.”
Realistic portrayal of women in their 50s
I thoroughly enjoyed Women of a Dangerous Age, and would recommend it as a great weekend or holiday read. It portrays women in their 40s and 50s realistically and deals with issues, especially in the case of Lou, of situations women divorcing and separating midlife may face- such as living independently and coping with the impact of your life change on your relationships with grown up children and friends.