Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty
by Tracey Jackson

HarperCollins, 2011. ISBN 978-0-061-66927-9.
Reviewed by Susan M. Andrus
Posted on 03/30/2011

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Life Lessons

Tracey Jackson, a writer of comedy, went to great lengths to be funny in Between a Rock and a Hot Place, and she succeeded in many ways. But in addition to humor, Jackson nags, whines, cajoles, lectures, and scolds, wanting us to understand her struggles upon reaching the young, old age of fifty and to learn how to care for ourselves when we find ourselves facing that milestone. When her job as a writer ended because she was considered too old to write comedy, Jackson followed her heart rather than the money and ended up producing Lucky Ducks, a documentary "about what it means to raise a child today, how what we carry with us from our own childhood bleeds into our parenting whether we know it or not; and that to fix your kid you really have to fix yourself first."

But back to Between a Rock and a Hot Place—Jackson did her research and gives women sound information on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), sex, botox, facelifts, finances, men, and "The Flashlight at the End of the Tunnel," her last chapter. In this chapter, Jackson puts aside the laughs and gets serious. She says, "The truth is, it's not your grandmother's fifty, and it's certainly not thirty, but it's your fifty. And though certain things will eventually come to a halt, the quality of your life doesn't have to." Jackson seemed to find a coming-of-age experience in her fifties and encourages us to believe that we can do the same.

A screenwriter for seventeen years, Tracey Jackson has written and sold films to all the major studios; her most recent writing credits include Confessions of a Shopaholic and Lucky Ducks, a feature-length documentary that she also produced and directed. Jackson blogs on her own website and the Huffington Post. Between a Rock and a Hot Place is her first book. She lives in New York City with her husband, Glen Horowitz, and two daughters. Visit her website.

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