That Certain Age by Elizabeth Buchan

About the book

Elizabeth Buchan tells the story of two women whose lives are separated by fifty years, but linked in a variety of subtle and surprising ways as they try to make sense of the conflicting demands of liberation and duty, freedom and necessity, and the labyrinthine pursuit of happiness…

Reviewed by Ladies of an Age Reading group:

 We were disappointed with this one! The two characters did not end up having any connection. If you read the review on the book cover, it will tell you everything – we say, give it a miss!

Star rating: **

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5 thoughts on “That Certain Age by Elizabeth Buchan”

  1. Review by New Forest – Waterside U3A Theatre & Literature Reading Group:
    It was a valid idea; setting the lives of two women of similar age, in times forty years apart, to highlight the differences in choices and aspirations available to each. But the book read like two novelettes painfully wedded with only two possible linking points. That both women resorted to a dust-pan and bush and the odd, though not impossible, appearance of the ormolu clock, were not enough to justify the marriage. The older woman irritated our older readers and nobody warmed to the younger woman. The writing style was forced and despite some convincing dialogue and odd flashes of humour, not able to carry the theme.
    Star rating: **

  2. Review by Hedge End WI Reading Group:
    The group did not enjoy this book. Characters not very interesting – therefore rather boring. It was suggested that the two women were linked by comparison; the role of women – what progress if any – what regrets.
    Star rating: **

  3. Review by Goodworth Clatford WI Reading Group:
    A couple of ‘Mills and Boon’ put together, the two characters had little in common. The two women were both of their generation. The link was difficult to find. Ending disappointing.
    Star rating: **

  4. Review by Phoenix Reading Group:
    The book promoted a lively discussion about the lives of women in the current age and in the 1950s. There are constraints at any age and women have to make choices between love, duty and work. Disappointing tenuous link between two of the women.
    Star rating: **

  5. Review by Boater’s Book Club Reading Group:
    The characters were found to be confusing with Barbara’s life more interesting, perhaps because her life is more what we know and recognise. We were not surprised that she had an affair but were about the pregnancy/birth. Neither characters were particularly liked esp. not Siena the modern women. Many couldn’t see the connection between the two women apart from the clock at the end which all found contrived. The point of the story esp. the comparison of the two lives was discussed. One conclusion was that it was a feminist comparison of women and their time. The book was considered interesting in its construct but its content less good. It was found enjoyable but definitely not memorable and also tedious and not well written. More like a holiday read. It was commented that books written with parallel stories are not enjoyed.
    Star rating: 1.5

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