From an "imaginatively twisted and fearless" writer (Los Angeles Times), a hilarious memoir of middle age.
In a voice that is wry, disarming, and totally candid, Sandra Tsing Loh tells the moving and laugh-out-loud tale of her roller coaster through "the change". This is not your grandmother’s menopause story. Loh chronicles utterly relatable, everyday perils: raising preteen daughters, weathering hormonal changes, and going through the ups and downs of a career and a relationship. She writes also about an affair and the explosion of her marriage, the pressures of keeping her daughters off Facebook while managing the legal and marital hijinks of her 89-year-old dad, and a despairing withdrawal to a tiny cabin where she combined wine and Ambien, paralyzing her arm into a claw. In one outrageous chapter, a hormonal Loh finds herself trekking to her preteen daughter’s school to confront a 10-year-old bully half her size. In another she attempts to subsist on only zero-calorie noodles and the occasional fat-free yogurt in a hopeless effort to vanquish added midlife weight.
In The Madwoman in the Volvo Loh speaks hilariously and honestly about her life as a mother, a daughter, and an artist. She recounts her journey through a tumultuous time of life, trying to maintain appearances during an epic hormonal - and that means physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual - change. The upbeat conclusion: it does get better.
©2014 Sandra Tsing Loh (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
being in the same tender age - I can confirm - all what author tells is true
sister, very rational
listen it while driving - do not have 8 hours in a row - my commute is not that long, but would stay in the car in the garage to finish an episode :-)
Need book for the women who can not stay in bed until noon when in bad mood, but instead have to go to every day work, meet with clients, smile, and show confidence in future of your company and cheer up your team.
Baby Boomers and younger need this as required reading, thus allowing humor to bring awareness for those younger chuckles to those living the "pause".
The main character of course, the author, muse, and creator.
Ha, I saw Sandra on Bill Maher and my introduction to her work, voice, and presentation skills began. I am hooked as she is honest and funny.
Moments more like; similarities in upending one's life during the "change".
I have now taken on Sandra's speech cadence and inflections as I listened to the production/book in less than 3 days. It is a growth experience, thank you Sandra.
I live in Southern California where Sandra Tsing Loh has been a fixture on public radio for years. She was on KCRW until an unfortunate unbleeped "f" world, so now Pasadena City College's KPCC carries "The Loh Down on Science" and "The Loh Life." Both commentaries are amusing, often very informative, and, thankfully, quick. Loh's over the top delivery is hard to take in long stretches.
"The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones" (2014) is part self-help/medical guide (estrogen cream, aka the magic elixir, might help!); part confessional (how a trip to Burning Man tanked her marriage in a very public and embarrassing way); part wry look at raising pre-teens (an acronym dictionary would help); and often laugh-out-loud funny. Her father - I tried in vain to find out what his name actually is - plays a prominent part, appearing to die not once but several times.
Loh's father was in his 40's when she was born; and she was in her late 30's to early 40's when her own children were born. That makes for an interesting take on things - she's going through menopause while her own children are going through puberty. Thankfully, she spares her daughters the embarrassment of discussing that, but she dishes on school spats that made me cringe for her daughter, while at the same time knowing I would have been tempted to do what Loh did.
"The Madwoman" did make me realize that I was woefully unprepared for menopause. I thought tweezers and a magnifying mirror for unwanted hairs would be enough - and boy, was I wrong. I was glad to have someone explain it so that I won't think I'm going crazy.
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No, primarily due to the narration. I know her from radio clips and was familiar with her voice going in, but found her narration exhausting in the longer format.
I was interested in both her personal story and humor, which I've always appreciated in small chunks. I liked parts of the sections I listened to but other parts felt desperately overworked.
Excessively intense. I know that her radio clips are in the same singsong, hyperdramatic voice, but they were apparently short enough that I didn't get weary of the pace. In book format it wore me out after a while.
Middling. Enjoyed some of it but just couldn't finish.
It is rare for an author to be able to read their own work pleasingly. This is one of the examples of a frustrating read. I suggest listening at 1.25x speed. It's much more tolerable. Especially for someone like me who is living through the same emotional stress as the author describes.
Sandra is a sympathetic and pitiful character in her own story. I rolled laughing and found so much that mirrored my own feelings about marriage and parenthood. I could have a blast having lunch and cocktails with this woman.
I laughed, I cried, I related in a dozen ways as someone in peri menopause who occasionally contemplates throwing NPR mugs as catharsis. This isn't a book for everyone, but if you enjoy Sandra's voice, observations, honest rawness, and admitted solipsism, this is a perfect book for you.
early modern historian
The narration is very good and full of the charm of Sandra. The story is her own personal story, full of humor and also pathos. She comes out at the end on a positive note, which is refreshing and, I feel, honest.
This booked dragged on and on, felt like listening to a woman whine all the time, and was overly depressing... Although there were some small highlights, I dreaded finishing the book.
Ms. Loh is occasionally funny but her voice is grating & the repetitiveness of her writing is
more so. Maybe a visual would have been less irritating. It might be me. I did not expect the in depth on menopause, ad nauseum. Had I known, might not have purchased the book.
Her penchant for lists is not to my taste. Just not a good fit, I guess. There is no question Ms Loh is talented.
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