Discussion #1: Flirting with Forty

What better time than now to open up our first discussion on book #28, Flirting with Forty. Yes folks, we’ve got our hands on yet another fast-paced read, so hopefully you’ve reached the end of the first segment of the novel, at the very minimum. Even if you’re ahead, please take a few moments to post your spoiler-free thoughts on the following:

  • Jackie’s trip to Hawaii is a turning point for her. What roles do the contrasting climates and cultures play in Jackie’s learning process? Would a vacation anywhere else have had the same effect?
  • Have you reached your big 4-0 birthday yet? If so, how did you celebrate? Did you dread turning 40 (or 50 or any other landmark birthday)? How does age impact a woman’s self-image and self-esteem?
  • The physical challenge of surfing and her attraction to a surf instructor reconnect Jackie with her own body and with sexuality in ways she has not experienced in years. Are her insecurities and skepticism warranted? If so, why does she “feel like me, only better”?
  • Jackie says “I don’t know if it’s life, motherhood, or marriage but women start giving pieces of themselves up, little by little, year after year, and then one day you wake up and you’re not even there anymore. All the things that made you fun and fiery and hopeful… are gone.” Can you identify with her point of view?
  • Now here’s that typical question we ask our bookclub members after reading from a new author on our site: What are your thoughts on the author’s writing style? Are you interested in reading more Jane Porter novels?

Your turn – answer away!

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5 Responses to Discussion #1: Flirting with Forty

  1. maksbestfriend says:

    • Jackie’s trip to Hawaii is a turning point for her. What roles do the contrasting climates and cultures play in Jackie’s learning process? Would a vacation anywhere else have had the same effect?

    I think that she had to go somewhere where the climate and culture and mores to some extent, are completely different from Seattle. I think that the warmth and the sunshine brought her out of herself. But heavens I wonder if that was going to happen when Butch put himself in the picture.

    • Have you reached your big 4-0 birthday yet? If so, how did you celebrate? Did you dread turning 40 (or 50 or any other landmark birthday)? How does age impact a woman’s self-image and self-esteem?

    Reached it and passed it. Me, just spent it with someone who actually loves me and respects ma and that means more to me than any flashy, expensive blow out party. I don’t think that age has impacted me much. 44 doesn’t feel much different than 34. Granted I am not moving like I am 16, but that is okay too. I am much more comfortable in who I am and what I am at this stage in my life. And you know if I have to be honest, I do not care what anyone thinks about me. The only person who’s opinion of me that matters is my husbands.

    I think that age only impacts self esteem if you let it. You make your rules. Don’t let what is shown on television or in magazines or anyone influence who you are when you turn the big 40.

    • The physical challenge of surfing and her attraction to a surf instructor reconnect Jackie with her own body and with sexuality in ways she has not experienced in years. Are her insecurities and skepticism warranted? If so, why does she “feel like me, only better”?

    I think that if you spent years being someone’s wife, mother, caretaker, and always feeling like you did not feel like you were good enough, or just enough, it would be expected that you would have insecurities such as she is experiencing. I think that a second go round, and I hope that is not a spoiler, I am sorry if it is, I honestly forget, makes her realize that she still has the ability to attract a male, use her body, and enjoy having someone pay attention to her sexually. Apparently something that she has not had for some time.

    * Jackie says “I don’t know if it’s life, motherhood, or marriage but women start giving pieces of themselves up, little by little, year after year, and then one day you wake up and you’re not even there anymore. All the things that made you fun and fiery and hopeful… are gone.” Can you identify with her point of view?

    In my last marriage I can say that, but I think that a part of that is either you settle and you do not put yourself first at all, or in my case, it was spousal abuse. Now I do not feel that at all. I believe that you can be happy and you do not have to give up who you are just because you have a child/children.

    • Now here’s that typical question we ask our bookclub members after reading from a new author on our site: What are your thoughts on the author’s writing style? Are you interested in reading more Jane Porter novels?

    I like her style. It is fast paced, and not over thought out. And not far fetched. What has happened could happen to anyone. Maybe not going to meet a guy in Hawaii and have hot sex, but you can change your life. I would definitely read another book. I am thinking her new book that is coming out this summer? Pre order, you think?

  2. * Jackie’s trip to Hawaii is a turning point for her. What roles do the contrasting climates and cultures play in Jackie’s learning process? Would a vacation anywhere else have had the same effect?
    By the author’s description of Seattle as a rainy, dismal climate with the highest suicide rate in the USA, Jackie desperately needed a new location with an opposite feel to overtake the dreary outlook she had on her soon-to-be-forty, divorced life. Seems like any other tropical, sunny vacation spot would have had a similar effect, and Hawaii is as good as any.

    * Have you reached your big 4-0 birthday yet? If so, how did you celebrate? Did you dread turning 40 (or 50 or any other landmark birthday)? How does age impact a woman’s self-image and self-esteem?
    I have a year and a half until reaching my 4-0 birthday, and I’m nowhere near dreading it. Personally, like my 3-0 birthday, I’ve set goals to avoid reaching that day saying, “What happened to me?” Having preconceived notions about aging and dwelling on the negative rather than embracing the positive adversely impacts a woman’s sense of self. Vacations to Hawaii bring on the positive like nobody’s business… now there’s an idea… HAWAII in 1.5 years!

    * The physical challenge of surfing and her attraction to a surf instructor reconnect Jackie with her own body and with sexuality in ways she has not experienced in years. Are her insecurities and skepticism warranted? If so, why does she “feel like me, only better”?
    No, her insecurities are absolutely NOT warranted, as noted by her self image versus the physical image the men in Hawaii actually see in her. She seems to envision herself as this frumpy old woman, while men continue to be enamored by her striking beauty. Jackie compares herself to the younger, less mature 20-somethings on the island. Yet being forced to step out of her comfort zone while on the surfboard allows her to reconnect with her true self.

    * Jackie says “I don’t know if it’s life, motherhood, or marriage but women start giving pieces of themselves up, little by little, year after year, and then one day you wake up and you’re not even there anymore. All the things that made you fun and fiery and hopeful… are gone.” Can you identify with her point of view?
    Yes, I can identify with her point of view in society tends to make women feel selfish and guilty when taking time out for themselves. Good thing that kind of thinking is completely banished from my inner core. Guilty pleasures keep a person going and are a must, IMHO.

    * Now here’s that typical question we ask our bookclub members after reading from a new author on our site: What are your thoughts on the author’s writing style? Are you interested in reading more Jane Porter novels?
    After reading ‘Odd Mom Out’, Jane Porter became one of my favorite authors – and ‘Flirting with Forty’ does not disappoint by comparison. Not only that, but ‘Mrs. Perfect’ and ‘Easy on the Eyes’ are next on my ‘Must Read’ list. (Did you see that EOTE cover design? Fabulous!)

  3. maksbestfriend says:

    You know I am seriously thinking/well we are talking about getting a Kindle/Sony reader when we get back from Hawaii. I have so many books still and it will be neat to read them in electronic form!

    That book makes two that I have on my pre-order list. I am going to have to go and skulk around Amazon and see what else is out there for new books!

  4. The Sony reader appeals to me most – I’ve been considering the leap, too. Only so much space for books @home, you know! Keep me posted! And I came *this* close to pre-ordering the Porter novel… it could happen very soon. 🙂

  5. Dory says:

    # Jackie’s trip to Hawaii is a turning point for her. What roles do the contrasting climates and cultures play in Jackie’s learning process? Would a vacation anywhere else have had the same effect?

    I think there is something so relaxing and carefree about being at the beach. I don’t know if being all bundled up at a mountain resort would be the same or not. I doubt it, it would be too similar to where she lived already so it wouldn’t have the same effect, I don’t think.

    # Have you reached your big 4-0 birthday yet? If so, how did you celebrate? Did you dread turning 40 (or 50 or any other landmark birthday)? How does age impact a woman’s self-image and self-esteem?

    Yes, in 2006. We just did a family thing at home. I’ve never been big on birthdays. I think I worried and worried about it, in the months leading up to it. 40 sounds like a big number – I should surely have accomplished something by then, right? Or at least, that’s what I kept thinking and worrying about. But, in reality, so far the 40s have been the best yet – I finally feel comfortable in my own skin.

    # The physical challenge of surfing and her attraction to a surf instructor reconnect Jackie with her own body and with sexuality in ways she has not experienced in years. Are her insecurities and skepticism warranted? If so, why does she “feel like me, only better”?

    I think that having a younger handsome man find her appealing and attractive was a major boast to her confidence – as it would be for any one, although the *assets* were already there.

    # Jackie says “I don’t know if it’s life, motherhood, or marriage but women start giving pieces of themselves up, little by little, year after year, and then one day you wake up and you’re not even there anymore. All the things that made you fun and fiery and hopeful… are gone.” Can you identify with her point of view?

    Absolutely. I think it’s a problem most mothers have – rarely ever giving thought to our needs/desires/dreams. We tend to put our families first – it’s what we do. But, I think it’s so much better to realize that by doing that, losing ourselves – we end up unable to be the *everything* our families need. It’s so much better to make a little time for ourselves. We’d be happier and in turn, our families would benefit.

    # Now here’s that typical question we ask our bookclub members after reading from a new author on our site: What are your thoughts on the author’s writing style? Are you interested in reading more Jane Porter novels?

    Loving it. Fast read, entertaining and exciting. I couldn’t put it down. Seriously. And yes, I’ll read more. 🙂

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