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The Red Hat Society's Acting Their Age    by Regina Hale Sutherland order for
Red Hat Society's Acting Their Age
by Regina Hale Sutherland
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Mia, Leanne, and Aggie are all women of a certain age. They run a coffee shop in a small Texas town, and get together often for Red Hat Society meetings. But lately, Aggie has started acting strangely forgetful, Leanne seems to be having problems with her husband, and Mia is suffering from empty-house blues since her husband died. All this changes when the women discover Rachel, a teenage runaway, hiding in their storeroom.

The poor girl has been through a lot. Should the women call the authorities? (Sheriff Cade Sloan has his eye on Mia already). What they decide to do will certainly turn each of their worlds upside-down. But it's all for the sake of a poor young girl with no place to call home, and three aging women with compassion to spare are ready to help in any way they can.

This cute book is more meaningful than it appears on the surface. Women of all ages will be able to relate to the things Mia, Leanne, and Aggie are experiencing. Whether we are going through the emotions personally or know someone who is, the effects of growing older touch us all. Although this story is told from a third person viewpoint, the reader mostly sees things from Mia's perspective, so we get to know her best. However, we do get glimpses into each of the women's lives and this helps us see where they are coming from in their relationships to each other, and especially when they deal with Rachel.

I enjoyed this novel much more than I expected. It's entertaining, touching, and full of humor. On the spine it is billed as a contemporary romance. However, romance takes a serious back seat to friendship and other relationship issues. If you're looking for a pleasant read geared toward mature women, The Red Hat Society's Acting Their Age is a superb choice.

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