REVIEW: Between a Rock and a Hot Place by Tracey Jackson @TraceyJackson4 @HarperCollins

Book Description

February 15, 2011
A funny, fearless, no-holds-barred look at aging—hormone replacement therapy, online dating, eye lifts, and all
As she approached her fiftieth birthday, Tracey Jackson found herself bombarded—at the gym, at parties, in conversations with friends—by a catchphrase on everyone's lips. “Fifty is the new thirty” and the endless magazine articles, photos, and T-shirts proclaiming the new aphorism had apparently bloomed out of a collective sense of denial, masking the true fears of a generation unwilling to relinquish their youth.
With a comedy writer's training and a screenwriter's eye for detail, Jackson skewers the myth in a hilarious, bare-knuckled, and ultimately practical appraisal of what middle age really means today. Turning fifty is a wake-up call—but one that can be greeted with a plan. Between a Rock and a Hot Place navigates, with unsparing honesty and unerring wit, the confusion and uncertainty of the most significant uncharted transition in our lives.

AAbout the Author

A screenwriter for seventeen years, Tracey Jackson has written and sold films to all the major studios. She blogs on her own website and for the Huffington Post. She lives in New York City with her husband, Glenn Horowitz, and two daughters. You can follow her on Twitter @TraceyJackson4.


  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061669288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061669286


Tracey Jackson writes about what I suspected all along: all of this trying to act, be, look younger is not worth it and fifty is not the new thirty no matter how much "work" you do -- your insides are still a ticking timebomb.  She gracefully delves into the aging dilemma that women my age (yes, fifty) are now being bombarded with in the media. Hormone replacement therapy, plastic surgery, keeping fit and eating right are all tackled in this book of essays all linked together by age.  And then there is ageism which is more than apparent in Hollywood were she was a screen writer.  There are parts of this memoir that are truly laugh out loud funny and others that are really poignant.  Jackson goes back in her own family history relating how her grandmother didn't care about how she ate or looked while her mother was a health fanatic and plastic surgery devotee.  That is a choice each of us has to make.  Do we get work done?  Do we take the hormones to feel normal?  And will your heart explode even though you do everything right?

I didn't agree with all of her reasons for her actions, but Hollywood is indeed a strange place to live and work.  Things that are not normal any place else are a given there and you are only as good as how you look or your age.  This probably won't play well in Peoria but like Hot in Cleveland, no one in Hollywood can look good forever and you need to step away.  I have friends that work in that industry and I used to be jealous of how good they look, but as Jackson concludes, everyone dies and no matter how good you look on the outside, your insides could be a complete mess.  The best point she makes in the whole book is when she relates that the most fulfilling moment came when she was out of work and produced a documentary about her over privileged child volunteering in India.  Overall, a good and quick read about getting older while being a bit neurotic. 


  1. Great blog! Cool book cover, this one. I can't seem to find the Follow button anywhere. Oh well. Keep up the good work, Book Hound! :)

  2. This book sounds fascinating, actually. I'm still a bit from 50, but I think the earlier you get it into your head that it's more beautiful to age naturally, the better off you'll be. I think I'll be picking this one up for some friends who might need it....


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