Book Review: Between a Rock and a Hot Place by Tracey Jackson

between a rock and a hot place cover
Synopsis: As she approached her fiftieth birthday, Tracey Jackson found herself bombarded—at the gym, at parties, in conversations with friends—by a catchphrase on everyone's lips. "Fifty is the new thirty" and the endless magazine articles, photos, and T-shirts proclaiming the new aphorism had apparently bloomed out of a collective sense of denial, masking the true fears of a generation unwilling to relinquish their youth.

With a comedy writer's training and a screenwriter's eye for detail, Jackson skewers the myth in Between a Rock and a Hot Place, a hilarious, bare-knuckled, and ultimately practical appraisal of what middle age really means today. Willing not only to face the elephant in the room, but to put him under a (large) microscope, Jackson confronts the truth about death, work, and sex in what the French call the "third age," using poignant, laugh-out-loud stories from her life. 

Jackson examines the changing roles of motherhood and wifehood; the necessity of planning a "career after your career"; the unvarnished reality of our aging bodies; and the generational shift in our perception of age ("Tight abs was not a phrase my grandmother had ever heard. And even if she had, her response would likely have been, Who needs that when you have a girdle?").

Turning fifty is a wake-up call—but one that can be greeted with a plan. Recounting the changes she went through, the things she learned (and things she didn't) en route to fifty, Between a Rock and a Hot Place navigates, with unsparing honesty and unerring wit, the confusion and uncertainty of the most significant uncharted transition in our lives.

About the Author: Tracey Jackson is a screenwriter who has written over fifteen feature films and fourteen television pilots, including The Other End of the Line, The Guru and Confessions of a Shopaholic. Tracey is an avid blogger, whose blog Tracey Talks can be read on her website, TraceyJacksonOnline

Her recent documentary Lucky Ducks, nominated for Best Documentary at the MIAAC Film Festival in 2009, explores issues of parenting and adolescence, following Tracey and her teenage daughter from Park Avenue to Mumbai as they attempt to unravel the complex relationship boomer parents have with their over-indulged teens.

Review: OH how I would love to give each of you a copy of Tracey's book! I read it cover to cover, laughing most of the way, nodding my head in agreement, and even shedding a few tears. Tracey may be older than I am, but we are sharing alot of the same experiences (like older motherhood), and she makes it all seem easy and funny at the same time!

Tracey says ""No one gives women a game plan for a hearty last thirty years". But she gives you alot of really great advice, as having been there and gotten those t-shirts! The book reads like a cross between your sister and best friend, giving you advice and telling you stories to illustrate what they mean! She keeps the book in a "chronological/domino effect" order, and while that made sense, I found myself wishing the book wasn't over. I wanted to read MORE, hear MORE of her stories and advice. 

Tracey says there are 3 older women she admires that are HER role models. After reading this book, I'm adding Tracey to MY list of older women I admire. her ability and willingness to change and reinvent herself based on what she already had was amazing and inspiring! She rocks! get this book for yourself, then pass it on to all your friends and family members (or get them their own copies!). This book will be on my Top 10 List for the Year for me, I know!

Disclosure / Disclaimer:  i was sent this book, free of charge, for review purposes, by Bostick Communications. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about the book either

  • ISBN-10: 006166927X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061669279