THE RED HAT CLUB is a tale of long-standing female friendships, Southern style. It celebrates a certain independent mindset based on the delightful poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, which starts, "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple . . ." George (short for Georgia) tells the story of her gang of fifty-something sorority sisters, who continue to support each other through all trials. These gals, garbed in purple topped with red hats, meet once a month to lunch, gossip and swap jokes.
The story opens with Diane, one of the Red Hat club members, confiding that her husband has a mistress. That's