Thursday, May 3, 2012


Diary of a Menopausal WomanDiary of a Menopausal Woman by Cheryl Reid, Toby Williams, Lizzi Easyburn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(REVIEWERS NOTE - Men... if you have a sense of humour, you will LOVE this book!  Don't let the title put you off... this truly is a 'must-read'!  Thank you.  vmls)

If ever there was a book that deserved five stars... this one is it!

Menopause… something we women all have to look forward to, right?  Okay, maybe ‘look forward to’ isn’t the right phrase… how about ‘stark terror’?  I mean, I’ve heard stories… I’ve seen the films in school… I’ve seen Aunt Sophie!  Granted I have a few years to go, but still…

After reading Cheryl Reid’s DIARY OF A MENOPAUSAL WOMAN, I am minding less the sound of that clock ticking down to my inevitable passing into that phase of womanhood.

With a sharp wit and keen sense of humour, Cheryl chronicles nine months in the life of… a survivor.  Yes, I think that is a very apt description.  Cheryl is a survivor.  We all must be to make it in this crazy world, right?  You bet your pretty lace knickers I’m right!

Cheryl does an amazing job with DIARY OF A MENOPAUSAL WOMAN… turning adversity into fortune… casting a humourous eye on those everyday things that can sometimes have one running screaming from a room… sometimes in search of a bottle of Stolichnaya – or, is that just me?

Cheryl’s dissertation on the trials and tribulations of everyday living reminds us that, I’m paraphrasing Cheryl here… “While life can sometimes feel like ‘garbage’, if one can laugh when they really feel like crying, life isn’t that bad and we can be rich in ways that money can’t buy.”  It’s all about finding that silver lining… holding your chin up when you’d as soon pull the pillow over your head and stay in bed.

From dealing with the mystery of bottled water for irons… to puppy-kissing and the pitfalls of finding proper homes for Ruby’s offspring… to solving those oft-occurring financial dilemmas that can tax an already stretched-to-the-limit budget… to searching for an answer as to who is behind the chocolate conspiracy… to a devoted son who seems to be fighting his own battle in getting a card and poem to his mother before Mum’s Day is only a distant memory…  Cheryl’s spirit and indomitable sense of humour will lift you up and show you that, with the proper frame of mind… you to can take the cares and woes of the world and just say… “Buzz off, world… you’re not trodding over me!”

I am trying really hard not to put any spoilers in here because I want everyone to experience Cheryl’s wit, humour and brilliant story-telling first hand… to be taken off guard, as I was… so that when laughter bubbles up from deep inside them it is with a joy at finding something brand new that brightens their day and brings a smile to their lips!

DIARY OF A MENOPAUSAL WOMAN is brilliantly done… rich with humour and a certain pragmatism that Cheryl turns ‘round into something positive.  But DIARY… also has a bit of suspense.

There were a couple of times when I wasn’t rocking in my chair with laughter, tears [of joy] running down my cheeks, or passengers on the morning train casting looks at the dark-haired girl who couldn’t stop laughing.

In those moments I was on the edge of my seat, anxious with worry, as Cheryl battled her addiction… with chocolate!  But then… Cheryl would offer such rationalizations – and they make perfect sense to me – as to why, in certain situations, chocolate has no calories, that I was soon literally falling out of my chair with laughter.

Repeat after me, sweetie…

“Hi.  I’m Cheryl.  I am a chocoholic."

(chorus of voices…)  “Hi, Cheryl!”

Thank you.

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
Silverdale, Washington
Portland, Oregon
30 April 2012

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