Thayer's original Hot Flash Club series continues as Polly, Faye, Alice, Shirley and Marilyn search for joy during the Christmas season.

The five friends gather in Boston to celebrate at Shirley's spa, The Haven. Shirley is enthralled with her new younger lover, Justin, though her friends don't trust him. Polly wants to spend the holidays with her grandson and bemoans her strained relationship with all-organic daughter-in-law Amy. Alice dislikes her son's new girlfriend. Faye eagerly anticipates her granddaughter's visit, and Marilyn wishes her boyfriend, Faraday, would seek help for his sexual difficulties.

Thayer's down-to-earth characters are women facing everyday life, the realities of aging and changing relationships. Along with their tribulations in love and life, the author serves up healthy doses of humor and drama. (Nov., 320 pp., $16.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick