Book Review of Jenny Eclair's Older and Wider: A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause
Jenny Eclair's Older and Wider: A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause is a fun and informative read for anyone who has experienced, is experiencing, or will experience the menopause. No... let me amend that to also include anyone who knows someone who fits the above criteria.
Jenny Elcair's A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause is full of common sense, and offers practical advice about managing aspects of what our grandmothers' called 'the change'. Using a logical A to Z approach it covers all aspects of what the menopause entails and ensures that its menopausal readers know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing. Whilst I'm not a fan of the term (I don't know why) the book is a text of 'sisterhood' at its best.
As would be expected of Eclair this menopausal guide is full of wit and humour, It doesn't hold back on the expletives and adult humour. It may make some readers' hair curl, though having said that none of it is offensive, unless you happen to be Tim Henman. (It seems Eclair finds him a little dull!)
Amongst the strengths of the book is the reassuring tone and the solid advice offered. For example, Eclair, without being patronizing, tactfully warns readers to be mindful of divorcing their husbands, as part of a mid-life crisis, as they may live to regret it. (The women not the men. The men would obviously regret it!)
A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause is a book that I listened to rather than read. It is wonderful entertainment when partaking of a walk or cycle, perhaps as a means of cooling down from a hot sweat or ensuring that those middle-aged endorphines remain active.
Book Discussion Questions on Jenny Eclair's Older and Wider: A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause
What is the most single useful piece of advice in Jenny Eclair's Older and Wider: A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause?
What part of Jenny Eclair's A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause did you find the most amusing?
Was there any part of Jenny Eclair's A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause that you thought was simply wrong? What was it?
Jenny Eclair is a fan of acupuncture, but is less convinced by other 'alternative' approaches to enhancing health and well-being. Discuss.
Would you give this book to a male partner or relative? Why or why not?
Jenny Ecliar is a white middle class hetrosexual woman. She acknowledges in the book that she had some concerns whether this might be problematic to her readers. Do you think her narrative can be considered narrrow and unrepresentative of a diverse readership? Why or why not?
Jenny Eclair makes a quip about most 60 year old men resembling Toby Jugs. Is this true or fair, or is it just a joke? Does it matter if it is true?
Jenny Eclair speaks very frankly about the eating disorder that she had during her twenties. Recap and discuss what Eclair states about her illness and how she got better. Do you think treatment of the illness would be similar now to how it was thirty plus years ago?
Bookclub Questions on Older and Wider: A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause (if you haven't read the book!)
Who in your own life most needs educating about the menopause? Explain why. Will you buy them this book?
If you are a younger reader to what extent did you understand your own mother's menopause?
If you are experiencing the menopause right now what is the worst thing about it?
Have a chat about HRT and its pros and cons.
If you listen to the Older and Wider podcast you will have heard Jenny Eclair speak quite personally on ambition, wealth, family and politics. Do you think knowing a little about a writer enhances a reading of their book?
Do you think people have more knowledge about the menopause and are more willing to chat about it now than they were five or ten years ago? Do you feel comfortable freely discussing the menopause?
What does the term 'male menopause' mean to you?
Personal Response to Older and Wider: A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause
Jenny Eclair's A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause was a particularly easy listen to me, as I'm already a fan of the podcast Older and Wider, which she records with Judith Holder. Most of what Eclair said really resonated with me. That's perhaps because I'm a 51 year old woman with two grown up children and a husband I have a tendency to snap at for no particular reason! The part about empty nesting actually reminded me very much of my own blog posts on the topic of empty nesting.
If I'm honest I think I was expecting Jenny Eclair's A Survivor's Guide to the Menopause to be a little shocking, whereas it was actually very sensible and grounded. It is also very amusing. Even if learning about the menopause isn't of paramount importance to you right now this is a good listen or read. It's full of sound life advice, much of which is applicable to all ages.