The Red Hat Society: Fun and Friendship After 50 by Sue Ellen Cooper

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

The author of this book, Sue Ellen Cooper is the founder and Queen Mother of The Red Hat Society. When Sue had a friend who was about to turn 50 years old, she would give them a red hat. This soon became her signature gift. When she and her friends went out for tea, they would wear a red hat and something purple. At the beginning of the book, it gives a “Warning” – “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go…” It was here that the first chapter of the Red Hat Society was born. Can you believe that now there are over three hundred thousand Red Hatters across the USA and Canada and even around the world?

What are the rules of the Red Hat Society? No rules. That’s right – none! Their main purpose is to encourage woman to have fun and support each other. They claim it is a great outlet for widows, anyone with health problems or people under stressful incidents such as caring for the elderly.

This is such a funny book. I was not aware that there was a Red Hat Society, but I will be sure to keep my eyes open for anyone wearing purple with a red hat! The book is filled with anecdotes from members. It also contains several little quotes from famous people and some are also anonymous. The one I liked is “Five States of Female Life” which are:

  • To grow up

  • To fill out

  • To slim down

  • To hold it in

  • To hell with it
  • Doesn’t that sound familiar? The author and founder of this group has done a great job of showing people that life does begin at fifty! After reading this book, I’m sure many will look into the Red Hat Society. It proves that we do not have to take life so seriously all the time!