Invisible Women and What They Do About it

Tom Perrotta has written several books, including The Leftovers, which was turned into a successful television series, and Little Children, which became an acclaimed movie starring Kate Winslet. Returning again to American suburbia, his new book focuses on feminine middle age and sexuality. This seems like a good time to consider other books about middle-aged women, so here you go. 

Tom Perrotta's much-anticipated new book, Mrs. Fletcher, does not disappoint. Eve has never felt particularly sexy, and after dropping her lunkheaded, only son off at college, her life feels particularly empty. A porn habit and some truly inappropriate behavior are part of Eve's sexual awakening, while her son finds out the hard way that there's more to college than partying and girls, who don't seem to like him much anyway. Perrotta takes a hard look at suburban mores in this satire of sex in the modern age.  

Jeanne Ray manages a delightful piece of whimsy in Calling Invisible Women. Clover wakes up one morning to discover that in addition to being virtually invisible to her husband and son for years, she is now literally invisible. She finds a support group of other invisible women, made so by a trio of drugs. Clover has some fun with her new condition, shadowing her husband and son, and even fighting crime. Charming and compelling, this book is a wonderful fable of the way society ignores middle-aged women.

Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland follows Liz, another middle-aged woman no one much cares about and how her life is transformed when the son she gave up for adoption comes looking for her. Jeremy has a bad case of multiple sclerosis but brings the sunshine into Liz's life, involving travel (including shutting down the Frankfort airport) and mystical visions. The text vrooms off the page and the book is both raucously funny and poignant by turns.

In Debra Borden's darkly comic A Little Bit Married, Bitsy's husband has attempted suicide with Vicodin and she is jolted out of her free spending and frivolous ways. In preparation for her husband's return, Bitsy decides to beg her parents for financial support, pay attention to her kids for once, and get a job. A good skewering of the Bush years before the Great Recession, this proves that the life of a soccer mom can actually be somewhat grim.

Got other humorous books about invisible women? Tell us about it in the comments.

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