Monday, June 2, 2014

The Madwoman in the Volvo - Sandra Tsing Loh

Having reached the age where the word menopause comes up in conversations with friends, Sandra Tsing Loh's memoir The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones caught my eye.

I think there's much more than menopause driving Sandra Tsing Loh's year of raging hormones. While she explores menopause with some actual references to science and respected authors on the subject, Loh's life just seemed to go off the rails as she turns fifty. And menopause was along for the ride. I felt her mood swings, anger and depression had roots in 'pre-existing conditions', if you will. Her affair (Mr.Y) and the dissolution of her marriage (Mr. X) seem to take top billing for much of the book. She also explores her relationships with her children, her aging father, her sibling, friends with seeming candor, but admits, " Like with my middle-aged Volvo, I don't have a temperature or emotional thermostat that actually works."

Although the book is only 288 pages, I had to take a break from the book a few times and return later. Loh's intensity and selfish me, me, me attitude was tiring and quite frankly, grew boring.

I must admit, I had not heard of Loh before picking up this book - she is a broadcaster, writer and performer. But, I was actually quite disappointed (and felt manipulated as a reader) when I reached the end of the book and read the disclaimer....

"Except where noted in the acknowledgments, the characters appearing in this book are composites who are not intended to refer to specific people. While inspired by true events, the actions, scenes, and dialogue in this book have been chosen to illuminate the changes states of mind of the narrator, and are of story-making purposes only."

Read an excerpt of The Madwoman in the Volvo. Fans of Loh will probably enjoy the book.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Well, I can tell you from personal experience menopause can make you a nutcase. This sounds interesting.