The Madwoman in the Volvo

  • by Sandra Tsing Loh
  • Narrated by Sandra Tsing Loh
  • 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Cynthia "Semper Audiendo"

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.

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- LT

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-05-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios