"A slicing, piercing, irreverently funny story of revenge". That's how Kathy Lette's latest book, aptly called The Revenge Club, is descibed by our Editorial Expert Liz Robinson. The novel follows Matilda, Jo, Penny and Cressy, all at the top of their game but find themselves personally and professionally overlooked and pushed aside, but they aren't going down without a fight. Join these four women as they attempt to turn the tables on the men who destroyed their lives. 

The Revenge Club is sassy and smart yet offers warmth and compassion as well as being ferociously funny and we were overjoyed to get the opportunity to ask author Kathy Lette about her characters, inspiration and writing.


Kathy Lette first achieved success as a teenager with the novel Puberty Blues, which was made into a major film and a TV mini-series. Since then, her novels have been published in seventeen languages around the world. Kathy appears regularly as a guest on the BBC and Sky News. She is also an ambassador for Women and Children First, Plan International and the White Ribbon Alliance. In 2004 she was the London Savoy Hotel’s Writer in Residence where a cocktail named after her can still be ordered. Kathy is an autodidact (a word she obviously taught herself) but in 2010, received an honorary doctorate from Southampton Solent University. Kathy lives in London with her husband and two children. She cites her career highlights as once teaching Stephen Fry a word, Salman Rushdie, the limbo and scripting Julian Assange’s cameo in the Simpsons 500th episode.

What do you enjoy most about each of the four main characters in The Revenge Club?

Yes, the book blows a literary raspberry at chauvinists but it’s also a celebration of female friendship. I think women are each other’s human wonder bras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better. And Jo, Cressy, Penny and Matilda’s lives certainly would be very flat without each other. (I’m wearing a wonder bra now and it’s so called because when you take it off, you wonder where the hell your tits went! Never wonder where your pals have gone; hold each other close.)

Which kind of scenes flowed most freely as you wrote them? And which were more challenging to write?

If I have any gift at all as a writer, it’s putting down on paper the way women talk when there’s no men around. And it’s so funny. On a girls’ night out, don’t you have to be hospitalized from hilarity? It’s a great male myth that women aren’t funny. I think some men are just terrified of what it is we’re being funny about. They think we spend the whole time talking about the lengths of their members; which is not true, as we also talk about the width! Which, after childbirth, is so much more important issue.

Are you on the lookout for humorous moments in real life that can be used in your books? 

Laughter is the best medicine. If you can laugh at something, you take the sting out of it. It’s like strapping a great big shock absorber to your brain. My only motto is laugh and the world laughs with you – cry and you get salt in your champers, which we definitely don’t want!

Which books do you like to read? What was the last book that you read and would recommend? 

I left school at sixteen; the only examination I’ve ever passed is my cervical smear test. I’m an autodidact – it means self-taught, and clearly it’s a word I taught myself! So, I’m currently educating myself on the classics – Austen, the Brontes, Thackeray, Dumas, Dickens, and my favourite Middlemarch by George Elliott. What a literary lioness. Just open the pages and hear her roar.

What is something everyone should remember when dealing with sexism?  

Sadly, it’s still a man’s world. 100 years since the suffragettes were forcefed in prison and we still don’t have equal pay; we’re still getting concussion hitting our heads on the glass ceiling and we’re expected to clean it, whilst up there. But just remember that nobody can make you feel inferior unless you let them. Even though men are stronger than women, we are more verbally dexterous. I call it the Black Belt in Tongue-Fu. Just learn to lob a few lethal one liners and give a bully quiplash.

What’s next for you in terms of writing? 

I’m going to keep writing about middle-aged women because well, we’re so damn interesting. What a huge hinterland we inhabit. We’ve had the heartbreaks, the happy times, the marriages, the divorces, the promotions, the betrayals, the parenting angst, the affairs and the fun. My message to women is have a sensational second act and to just go forth and be fabulous!