Haywood Smith, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-31691-4

Smith fans know that when 50-something females don red hats for lunch at Atlanta's Swan Coach House tearoom, mayhem ensues. Club members Susu (wild divorcée now studying law), Teeny (abandoned woman turned corporate mogul), Diane (displaced wife now fashion designer), Linda (unflappable Jewish mother now in crisis), and Georgia (married narrator newly in love with her husband) unite to save old pal Pru from addiction. Four of the five fly to Las Vegas, where they kidnap Pru from a casino with the help of a good-looking cowboy, and then the six reunite to help Pru confront her inner demons in rehab. They also help each other through personal and family challenges and then wrap everything up with a cosmetic surgery cruise. Talk about intervention. For all their mischief, these women on the verge of second adolescence retain core values of Southern womanhood: goodness, graciousness and grandchildren. With flashbacks to their younger days and the ladies' not-so-strict adherence to 12 Sacred Traditions ("No Lies," "No 'I Told You So's,' " etc.), the book's fun lies not in guessing how things turn out but in Smith's warm, chatty style and images of "mommy-faced" women prancing about on an ocean liner wearing nothing but high heels, sunglasses and, of course, red hats. Though attempts at hilarity can be hit and miss, and outrageous scenarios and easy solutions strain credibility, well, it's hard to keep good women down, as The Red Hat Club 's bestseller status proves. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/28/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3516-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 402 pages - 978-0-312-99076-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59397-599-9
Compact Disc - 10 pages - 978-1-59397-601-9
Other - 978-0-312-34421-4
Hardcover - 462 pages - 978-1-58547-594-0
Paperback - 978-0-312-93886-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3517-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-59397-600-2
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4299-8958-9
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