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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • LT
  • 08-10-14

This is not Me - this is Hormones

What did you love best about The Madwoman in the Volvo?

being in the same tender age - I can confirm - all what author tells is true

Who was your favorite character and why?

sister, very rational

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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 :-)

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Monrovia, California, United States
  • 01-08-15

Amusing in Small Doses

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.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Annoyingly too self-absorbed

Written and read with such forced intellectual wittiness that the actual story was lost. She seemed far more interested impressing her audience/readers with her command of long sentences and words.
I really wanted this to be a relatable book as menopause isn't something we share and talk enough about. Instead, I was left feeling I was supposed to be impressed by her fabulous life and absurd arrogance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Blythe
  • Alberta (formerly California)
  • 02-27-16

Starts funny, but gets tiring.

Would you try another book from Sandra Tsing Loh and/or Sandra Tsing Loh?

Probably not

Any additional comments?

Funny memoir of midlife crisis type struggles, and I enjoyed the start of the book, but it goes on rather too long to the point I was getting seriously tired of the author complaining about everything. It was an effort to get to the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

wanted to like it but couldn't make it through

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

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.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

Was The Madwoman in the Volvo worth the listening time?

Middling. Enjoyed some of it but just couldn't finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Hilarious & Sooo True

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Baby Boomers and younger need this as required reading, thus allowing humor to bring awareness for those younger chuckles to those living the "pause".

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character of course, the author, muse, and creator.

What does Sandra Tsing Loh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Moments more like; similarities in upending one's life during the "change".

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The VOICE

Overall the book was entertaining, however I couldn’t get past her voice!!! The way she pronounced Kelly Reeeepa’s name made me cringe. I went from laughing to wanting to turn this recording off because of her arrogant WASPy New England sounding voice. And the woman is from California... I don’t get it? She met her match in Mr. Y. Hope Mr. X found his happiness. Despite this, I liked the book. I’d recommend it to a girlfriend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very entertaining!

Any additional comments?

I have listened to this entire book more than once. You will absolutely laugh out loud. Thoroughly entertaining.

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Up and Down

I swung between laughter, empathy and annoyance. This was worth the read but be prepared for a lot of whining.

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One in the sisterhood

My life is very similar to the authors in many ways and with her amazing wit and insights and facility with the language provided me with comfort and knowledge I had not hitherto known. She is so darn sunny and clever… I just adore her. her. I recommend this highly for anybody before during or after this wild ride.