50 and still smiling?
June 30, 2013

by Jack L. Kennedy

Few people have fond memories of reaching age 50.

Jan Atkinson, author of Menopausal Killer Sharks, (iUniverse) has many diverse, often profane, sometimes witty ways in which women may combat the creeping chronological monster. Her literary style may not suit everyone, but a bookstore is a bit like a shoestore: one size does not fit all. So try it on.

Atkinson is an attorney and veteran short story writer. The book is a small offering that some might say should have stayed a short story set rather than a stand-alone book. At times the theme, the tone, seem to be stretched a bit thin as lead character Laurie Anderson explores five marriages, sex, varied types of friends, and ego.

Four-letter words are often part of her vocabulary, and to some readers may lose their impact after the multiple uses of words beginning with F or S. The earthy writing style can get in the way of the message, as many readers might find meaningful content sacrificed for the sake of shock or attention-getting.

But one could argue that bit of negativity is a mere male reviewer’s clouded perspective. Sharks also offers coping skills, comedy, a soap opera-style approach to life, reminiscing about men or moments lost in time, and the hope that there is life after age 50 and there are more husbands...ahead.

Q: What problems with women start with "Men?
A: Menstruation, Menopause, & Mental breakdowns.

A list for guidance toward understanding men suggests as one poor, somewhat older female soul sees it that: the nice men are ugly, the handsome men are not nice, the men who are not so handsome but are nice men have no money and the men who are somewhat handsome and nice and have some money “never make the first move.”

Men are like fine wine, Atkinson says. They all start out as grapes, and women have to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with.

A rebuttal from a seasoned masculine writer might be in order.

The author may try too hard to be what she believes is amusing. But "Sharks" will hit a responsive chord with many. Happy swimming. The book is shallow but the relationship waters are deep and often deceptive.

Title - Meonopausal Killer Sharks
Author: Jan Atkinson
Publisher: iUniverse (Mar. 7, 2013/
$10.22/paperback/132 pp.; 4.99/Kindle at amazon.com/ 612 KB

ISBN-10: 1475977387
ISBN-13: 978-1475977387


For a press release, "FDA approves the first non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes associated with menopause" go here.

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