Ladies With Options
By Patti Fleishman
Sep 20, 2004 - 8:34:00 PM

WhoooHooo!  I know where I'm going for my next vacation.  You'll never guess in a million years, either.  Nope, you won't.  Are you ready?  I'm planning on taking a trip to
Larksdale , Minnesota .  Yep, you read that correctly.  Now, don't look so shocked and roll those eyes of yours.  Would you like to know why I've chosen this little out of the way, hot-spot of a town?  You'd better sit down because you won't believe this.  No, I'm really serious, you won't.

There's a group of ladies - middle-aged housewives and librarians - and one uniquely different young woman, who had been in trouble with the law and had pink hair - who are all members of a club.  Their group used to be called The Mostly Methodist Club and they would meet one Saturday each month.  When they got together, they used to share recipes and gardening tips.  This meeting of the 'minds' was mainly to get them out of the house and give them a chance to just 'chat'.  Until one day, this changed.  Oh, boy, did it ever change.  This is the story of the Mostly Methodist Club - Lizzy, Martha, Agnes, Mary, Dolly, Deborah, Gladys, and Skye with the pink hair.  Another member, Sophia, is Lizzy's daughter who is part of the group in absentia since she is attending Law School in Chicago .


During one Saturday meeting, Gladys had an announcement to make.  She discovered something that greatly impacted her perception on her 'older' years.  If this could happen to her, then it could happen to all of her friends sitting around her now drinking their coffee.  She had to tell them, she just had to.  It was at this time Gladys related the story she had read in Forbes, a magazine that specializes in money management, investments, and retirement.  Much to her surprise, Gladys learned there would be no way for her to survive on the amount of money she had put away when the day came for her to retire.  The reactions she received from each of the ladies in the Mostly Methodist Club were those of complete shock.


That's when Mary spoke up.  She's the one who had a plan - one that included each of them contributing an agreed upon sum of money to be invested-in hopes of making more money so they wouldn't go hungry and desolate in their older years.  Yes, this is how it all began. This is how the Mostly Methodist Club became the Larksdale Ladies Independence Club.  And so it begins-their life of monetary freedom and their desire to never have to wonder where their next meals would come from as they aged gracefully.


Who would have thought that it would be the pink-haired youngster who would give them a tip about a small company called Microsoft that would have their smiles soaring and their financial freedom that much closer?  What becomes of these unsinkable ladies is absolutely a dream come true but one that had been worked for many long and tiring hours.  Their triumph over struggle is one that needs to be told.  And it is through Sophia Peters, Lizzy's daughter.  She is the narrator who lends a believable voice to these ladies who search for financial freedom. 


Of course, there's so much more to be told about these remarkable ladies.  But, you'll just have to read about them to discover what happens next - to see how far they take this 'investing' thing.  There are many lessons to be learned along the way, too, some of which are not so pleasant, while some of them are hysterically funny.


Go ahead, I dare you to read LADIES WIH OPTIONS.  It could very well be one of the best books you've ever 'invested' in.  ;-)


My hat is off to you, Cynthia Hartwick for a wonderfully warm and endearing novel.  From the very first page, I knew there was something special about this book and that feeling never left.  Each woman was unique, created with finesse and love. I read well into the night until the last typed word and found myself wishing it didn’t have to end.  Marvelous, simply marvelous!

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