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In this charming tale of female empowerment and midlife crisis, Vonda Thayer wakes up on her 50th birthday to realize that her husband, Jerome, is a womanizer, her children are spoiled rotten, and she is stuck caring for her embittered mother-in-law. Just as she decides to take steps to change her situation, her estranged father-in-law appears on her doorstep, her eldest daughter, Amelie, comes home pregnant, and a category five hurricane is set to hit the Florida panhandle. Vonda's attempts to get out from under her life will delight readers. While the characters are all rascals and losers (except for Vonda), readers will recognize the irascibility and warm familial sensibility in equal measure and appreciate the Southern vernacular, which Buckley handles with wit and aplomb. At times laugh out loud funny, Buckley's book manages to be both inspiring and realistic. The one weak point is the charming Jerome, whose cheating borders on obsessive and whose insensitivity to his wife rings false. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.