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A funny, fearless, no-holds-barred look at aging—hormone replacement therapy, online dating, eye lifts, and all

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.

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Between a Rock and a Hot Place
Average rating
3 / 5
Between a rock and a hot place
May 11th, 2014
I enjoyed it, it made me feel better about myself and accept the fact that I can't change being over 50.
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