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About Face

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
From the outside, Ruth seems to have it all: a high-powered career, happy marriage and family. But her inner Peace-Corps-Volunteer is hollering to be let out.

When she bumps into Vivian, her long-lost friend and former hut-mate, she realizes how different she is from the person she used to be and wonders if she’s lost part of herself—the best part—in her quest for “the perf
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 14th 2011 by Warwick Associates
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(showing 1-30)
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Ruth seems to have the perfect life, she enjoys her job, she has a loving husband and a successful son, but something isn't quite right with her life anymore. She has a new boss who seems to be gunning to get her to quit, suddenly the charity work tied to her job is no longer approved and office politics are getting out of control. Her husband has announced that he wants to retire from his job and would like her to retire as well. And she runs into Vivian, who worked together with her in the Pea ...more
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author can turn a phrase with her eyes closed. Open the book at any page and find something like the following:

"The try-on room's monitor must have been selected by the same central casting agency that used to hire the matrons in the movie theaters, the ones who made the kids take their feet off the seat in front of them. With her slightly humped back and her sensible shoes, she enforced the 'five garments per person' rule as if she were dispensing divine justice."

I especially love the many
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jul-14
About Face by Carole Howard is a honest, witty and refreshing look at the life of a middle-aged woman.
Ruth Talbot is a happily married 53 yr old Marketing Director of a Cosmetics Company. She has constant power struggles with her new boss, continual hot flashes, and yearns for her time spent in Africa as a volunteer in the Peace Corps while in her early 20's.
At a crossroads in her life her husband tries to convince her to take early retirement and Ruth thinks he's crazy. Or is he?
Then a long lo
Rebecca Kenny
I was really disappointed with this book. I found the writing very juvenile and a lot of what was in it was not needed. It reminded me of a script for a cheesy made for tv movie. I didn't like any of the characters, the main character Ruth was a little full of herself and her friends were just plain obnoxious. I thought the book would have been more about a lady who quits her job to travel but it was more about her current job, marketing a product that hasn't even been created yet and then havin ...more
Anita Page
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Carole Howard's About Face is well-written and engaging. Ruth Talbot is a smart, funny and very perceptive cosmetics industry executive. We root for her as she struggles not only with the glass ceiling, but also with the realization that her success has come at the cost of her youthful values. As Ruth revisits her past, Howard brings to life both the corporate NYC scene, and the African village where Ruth was a Peace Corp volunteer. A great read.
Here, finally, I present you my review of Carole Howard’s ‘About Face’. I say finally because I have finished the book a while ago but life was busy and I didn’t get around to actually writing a review until now. Of course you haven’t noticed any of this finally business as it was all happening outside of this blog. Anyway.

About Face is about a 50-something business executive who struggles with hot-flashes, her husbands early retirement and connecting her Peace Corps roots with working for a mak
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won "About Face" by Carole Howard through the Goodreads Giveaway.

This novel was well written and I found I was glued from page one.I somehow feel that I was chosen to read and review this novel, as I fit into the age group of some of the Focus Groups that were held to illicit their comments. Ruth Talbot, a 53 year old marketing Director of a Cosmetic Company, is engaged in a nasty power struggle with her new boss while she's also burning up from hot flashes. Then her husband has been offered a
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
Ruth is at a crossroads in her career and her life. Well into her fifties, she is a successful business woman and a former Peace Corp volunteer and these two parts of herself start to come into conflict as her husband tries to convince her to retire early and she begins to reevaluate her life. What follows is a meditation on what it means to age and how the direction our lives take may not be what we imagined when younger. Even though I am not yet to Ruth’s age, I definitely empathized with her ...more
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started Chapter 1 and thought that this was about rich folks and put it aside. When I had nothing else to read, I picked it up again. I appreciated the dilemmas facing Ruth and the truth that Vivian shared when talking about Ruth not liking her job - "If you don't like it, find something else." Then the book became interesting to me as a corporate drama with some old school hippie friends thrown in for a very different juxtaposition. Maybe I should try to relate my dreams to my life the way th ...more
Gretchen Gibbs
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, from the clever title (with matching clever cover) to the twists at the end. Jane Fonda says the years after 50 are our Third Act, the most important part, the climax. Mostly literature focuses on the earlier acts, so it's a pleasure to find this book that deals with the later drama, capably and with humor and compassion.
Judy Pedersen
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
About Face asks one of the biggest questions of our lives: Is that all there is? Carole Howard's Ruth Talbot
invites us into her life to have a look around the terrain. A delightful examination of a life lived fully.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humorous look at growing old. Descriptive of two periods of time in the life of Vivian and Ruth - one in West Africa and one in present Manhattan the story delves into friendship and how friendship between these two women evolve.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth seems happy with her life. Then she bumps into an old friend from Peace Core days in Africa. That brings back memories of a simpler time.
It is also about women's friendships. Accepting middle age is also important in this story.
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A smart, fun, thought provoking read. Loved the heroine and rooted for her throughout her easy to identify with adventure.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. Recommended it to a friend for her book club; would be a great discussion about women, starting companies, getting older, and make-up.
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In addition to her latest book, a travel memoir, Carole Howard has published short fiction, personal essays, a walking guide to Paris, and two novels.

TALES OF A SILVER-HAIRED VOLUNTEER tells of her five volunteer experiences, each for two months, in the developing world, helping non-profits with her management consultant skills. Some incidents are funny -- looking for cheese in Thailand -- and som
More about Carole Howard...

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