I definitely 2nd the revolver idea. If possible, I say a good S&W or a Ruger. Preferred caliber, for me, is one in .357 Magnum. This is because you will have the added versatility of being able to shoot .38 Specials in it.
If you get a heavier frame, it will absorb some of the recoil. Throw on some Pachmayer or Hogue rubber grips and that'll make it really comfortable to shoot, especially when shooting 38s outta it.
I love my wheel gun. As does my wife. We both agree more are in our future, probably a .22 in the near future.
Here's my S&W 66-2 with Pachmayer grips, just for kicks and giggles. The wood grips are the originals which I took off (but still have, of course). And a gratuitous target shot.