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Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life

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Menopause hit Darcey Steinke hard. First came hot flashes. Then insomnia. Then depression. As she struggled to express what was happening to her, she came up against a culture of silence. Throughout history, the natural physical transition of menopause has been viewed as something to deny, fear, and eradicate. Menstruation signals fertility and life, and childbirth is reve Menopause hit Darcey Steinke hard. First came hot flashes. Then insomnia. Then depression. As she struggled to express what was happening to her, she came up against a culture of silence. Throughout history, the natural physical transition of menopause has been viewed as something to deny, fear, and eradicate. Menstruation signals fertility and life, and childbirth is revered as the ultimate expression of womanhood. Menopause is seen as a harbinger of death. Some books Steinke found promoted hormone replacement therapy. Others encouraged acceptance. But Steinke longed to understand menopause in a more complex, spiritual, and intellectually engaged way. In Flash Count Diary, Steinke writes frankly about aspects of Menopause that have rarely been written about before. She explores the changing gender landscape that comes with reduced hormone levels, and lays bare the transformation of female desire and the realities of prejudice against older women. Weaving together her personal story with philosophy, science, art, and literature, Steinke reveals that in the seventeenth century, women who had hot flashes in front of others could be accused of being witches; that the model for Duchamp's famous �tant donn�s was a post-reproductive woman; and that killer whales--one of the only other species on earth to undergo menopause--live long post-reproductive lives. Flash Count Diary, with its deep research, open play of ideas, and reverence for the female body, will change the way you think about menopause. It's a deeply feminist book--honest about the intimations of mortality that menopause brings while also arguing for the ascendancy, beauty, and power of the post-reproductive years.


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Menopause hit Darcey Steinke hard. First came hot flashes. Then insomnia. Then depression. As she struggled to express what was happening to her, she came up against a culture of silence. Throughout history, the natural physical transition of menopause has been viewed as something to deny, fear, and eradicate. Menstruation signals fertility and life, and childbirth is reve Menopause hit Darcey Steinke hard. First came hot flashes. Then insomnia. Then depression. As she struggled to express what was happening to her, she came up against a culture of silence. Throughout history, the natural physical transition of menopause has been viewed as something to deny, fear, and eradicate. Menstruation signals fertility and life, and childbirth is revered as the ultimate expression of womanhood. Menopause is seen as a harbinger of death. Some books Steinke found promoted hormone replacement therapy. Others encouraged acceptance. But Steinke longed to understand menopause in a more complex, spiritual, and intellectually engaged way. In Flash Count Diary, Steinke writes frankly about aspects of Menopause that have rarely been written about before. She explores the changing gender landscape that comes with reduced hormone levels, and lays bare the transformation of female desire and the realities of prejudice against older women. Weaving together her personal story with philosophy, science, art, and literature, Steinke reveals that in the seventeenth century, women who had hot flashes in front of others could be accused of being witches; that the model for Duchamp's famous �tant donn�s was a post-reproductive woman; and that killer whales--one of the only other species on earth to undergo menopause--live long post-reproductive lives. Flash Count Diary, with its deep research, open play of ideas, and reverence for the female body, will change the way you think about menopause. It's a deeply feminist book--honest about the intimations of mortality that menopause brings while also arguing for the ascendancy, beauty, and power of the post-reproductive years.

30 review for Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wendi

    I've found it difficult to find books or online articles about menopause that aren't heavily weighted for either favour or disdain of hormone replacement. I have my personal tendency about how I would prefer to travel this path, but I've been wanting to read personal experiences about menopause, not enter into the heavily preached (on both sides) fray. When Farrar, Straus, and Giroux offered the ARC for review, I was impressed by the synopsis because it seemed to be very much what I've been look I've found it difficult to find books or online articles about menopause that aren't heavily weighted for either favour or disdain of hormone replacement. I have my personal tendency about how I would prefer to travel this path, but I've been wanting to read personal experiences about menopause, not enter into the heavily preached (on both sides) fray. When Farrar, Straus, and Giroux offered the ARC for review, I was impressed by the synopsis because it seemed to be very much what I've been looking for. And on the whole, it is. The caveat here is that because it truly is nearly impossible to discuss this event in women's lives without including some of what is the most currently discussed medical practices surrounding it, Steinke doesn't fail to include her opinion. Not that she shouldn't have; not that I expected her not to do this. Just a heads up to other women who may be looking for the same sort of reading I have been seeking. She includes the fascinating history of how hormone replacement became a standard practice in the United States and statistics/studies of associated risks. However, this isn't solely about all of that. Instead, this memoir is a wildly hybrid accounting of history, science, spirituality, nature, medicine, folklore, advertising, and, above all, deeply personal memoir. There's a lot of conflict here; an example is that Steinke relates how her own sexual drive and that of her friends and other women, changed while going through menopause and how the greater (male dominated) society wants them to remain willing and pliable and sexual when they have physical and physiological changes that may make them reluctant. Then she turns around and explains how orcas, the only known mammal on earth that also goes through menopause, remain sexually adventurous within their pods and that "in their culture.... they don't have that human taboo: don't sleep with old women." This feels like a contradictory lament. That's just brilliant to me as a reader, though - if you know someone going through menopause, or have gone through or are going through it yourself, you know damn well that almost everything about the process can be a contradiction - sex drive, physical changes, emotional changes, life circumstances, social interactions, and psychological interactions - moments of simultaneous despair and joy. There is a general bent here towards the nature/natural/spiritual side of this process and you'll definitely feel akin to her experience if you're already geared that way. You don't need to be, though, as it's quite relatable (with some amazing writing) regardless. The only generally targeted audience I wouldn't recommend it to would be those absolutely, 100% committed to hormone replacement and won't brook an argument otherwise. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher making this one available for me to review. It comes out in the States on June 18th. I just sped through it, horrified and enlightened, fascinated and heartened. It's a fantastic and honest memoir in a category sorely lacking.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    There's a lot to like about Darcey Steinke's book Flash Count Diary, most especially it's piercing critique of the medicalization of menopause, the transformation of a normal life event into a disease to be cured. Her skewering of men - particular those who are doctors - who believe menopause is all about dried-up vaginas is particularly on point. Her quest to connect with other animals who experience menopause is also quite moving. But a couple of things didn't sit right with me. First, Steinke There's a lot to like about Darcey Steinke's book Flash Count Diary, most especially it's piercing critique of the medicalization of menopause, the transformation of a normal life event into a disease to be cured. Her skewering of men - particular those who are doctors - who believe menopause is all about dried-up vaginas is particularly on point. Her quest to connect with other animals who experience menopause is also quite moving. But a couple of things didn't sit right with me. First, Steinke talks about becoming more androgynous with menopause, and feeling increasingly outside the binary of male and female. She does not, in saying this, claim a non-binary or trans identity, but she does use the stories of non-binary and trans individuals to bolster her point that a change in hormones means a change in self. I was deeply uncomfortable with Steinke using the stories of trans and non-binary individuals' hormonal transitions to prop up her feelings about menopause. While Steinke would argue there is a great deal of common ground between menopausal women who are trying to grow used to a new self and trans and non-binary folk deciding on hormonal transition to bring their bodies into accord with their self, I don't think it holds up. And there are power differences between the two situations that are never addressed. For many trans and non-binary people transition is about survival, and 'surviving' cisness is not the same thing. This is also a book that barely considers race. Steinke presents ciswomen's experiences as universal, but there are real, meaningful differences in the ways that women of different racial groups experience sexuality and gender, even if they're straight and cis. There's no consideration here of the way that Black women's sexuality has been commodified, strangled, and exaggerated by white culture as a means of devaluing Black women's bodies, autonomy, and community. There's no consideration of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and the way that white men have been socialized to believe Native women's bodies are theirs for the violent taking. There's also no space to consider that menopause is looked at differently within human groups - that her experience as a white woman is not necessarily the same as that of a ciswoman in other cultures in America, where aging is not so reviled. I'm glad I read this book, because we all need to talk more openly about menopause. I learned things I'm glad to know. But I can't exactly recommend the book given the major flaws.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. Really good book. Sad that there is so little research on menopause. This illustrates how half the human race has to just improvise dealing with it. The idea that it is a "problem" that needs solving is so frustrating.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    It's about damn time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    Really interesting perspective on menopause and our cultural relationship with aging women. The premise was to link human menopause to animals and the natural world, but I didn't find that part satisfying. I did enjoy her musings and research on femininity and old age.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    Flash Count Diary is a new story about the menopause. Every woman should read this Flash Count Diary. Most books are about how to get rid of hot flushes, but there's nothing on the scientific and self help of menopause. This book goes into what happened to Darcey Steinke during the nights when hot flashes occurred. And what other remedies are out there on the market. The saddest thing is the terrible jokes that are said about menopause. One of the most interesting parts was when Darcey went to a Flash Count Diary is a new story about the menopause. Every woman should read this Flash Count Diary. Most books are about how to get rid of hot flushes, but there's nothing on the scientific and self help of menopause. This book goes into what happened to Darcey Steinke during the nights when hot flashes occurred. And what other remedies are out there on the market. The saddest thing is the terrible jokes that are said about menopause. One of the most interesting parts was when Darcey went to a conference centre in Amsterdam to learn about how women in other countries were treated during the change.

  7. 5 out of 5

    RH Walters

    I don't read books about childrearing and menopause because they are inherently interesting, but because I am desperate for help, and this book did not help. If anything, it just shows that you have to write your own way out. I am well acquainted with the hate and disregard our society has toward aging women, and the plight of whales. My small self says yes, going through menopause is better with a house in Brooklyn, teaching gigs in Paris and traveling the world to bond with other whale activis I don't read books about childrearing and menopause because they are inherently interesting, but because I am desperate for help, and this book did not help. If anything, it just shows that you have to write your own way out. I am well acquainted with the hate and disregard our society has toward aging women, and the plight of whales. My small self says yes, going through menopause is better with a house in Brooklyn, teaching gigs in Paris and traveling the world to bond with other whale activists and going to international conferences -- guess what, bitches, I'm in a bad mood. What I did see is that this is the chance to reflect on life as a woman, and all our passages are part inheritance, part creation.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Denise Link

    Rating this is hard, because this book wasn't exactly what I wanted it to be, but it is important and essential for starting the discussion. Menopause is hard, not because we all have the kind of overwhelming hot flashes the author does (I didn't), but because all of us must go through it with little or no framework in which to experience it. What information we have before the fact, gleaned mostly through mean-spirited jokes and oblique references, is hugely negative. This book starts to remedy Rating this is hard, because this book wasn't exactly what I wanted it to be, but it is important and essential for starting the discussion. Menopause is hard, not because we all have the kind of overwhelming hot flashes the author does (I didn't), but because all of us must go through it with little or no framework in which to experience it. What information we have before the fact, gleaned mostly through mean-spirited jokes and oblique references, is hugely negative. This book starts to remedy that, but we need more, from different voices, in different genres, about different experiences.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Evans

    Three paragraphs in, I was crying with the profound relief that comes with having one's experience finally, finally recognized -- not just in a commiserative way about the physical aspect (though, that too) but in the larger philosophical and spiritual questions that come up about mortality, gender, and nature. We should all be talking about this aspect of human life, and Steinke fucking nails it, is what I'm saying.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    If you are in menopause or peri-menopause or really if you’re a woman at any stage of life, read this book. This is a collection of thoughtful and thought provoking chapters that have me thinking about my body, my femininity, and my humanity in new ways.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim Higgins

    4.5 stars. In a book that's both intensely personal and widerangingly literary, scientific and political, Stienke wrestles with the changes menopause has wrought in her as well as cultural denigration of postmenopausal women. She spends considerable narrative energy on killer whales, one of the few other species that goes through menopause, and a species she clearly feels a strong kinship with.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

    This book afforded me the opportunity to explain menopause to a 10YO boy I was babysitting for. As we joked about reverse puberty, he wondered whether you stop stinking as well as menstruating. I’ll let you know in 5 or 10 years.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bridgett

    This book is a refreshing and different look at menopause in that it never once suggests that menopause is a disease that needs to be treated with HT.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Stunning. Stienke is marvelous and brave and honest and wrote the exact book I needed right now - not because it is comforting, in fact partly because it is the opposite - rage-making (yet still hopeful). Her meditations on similarities of humans and whales, esp older, postmenopausal females - amazing. I needed to hear her honest assessments of relating with her mom and husbands; her refusal to accept the surface truths of ideas and of people's existence; her reasoning for why she refuses to pha Stunning. Stienke is marvelous and brave and honest and wrote the exact book I needed right now - not because it is comforting, in fact partly because it is the opposite - rage-making (yet still hopeful). Her meditations on similarities of humans and whales, esp older, postmenopausal females - amazing. I needed to hear her honest assessments of relating with her mom and husbands; her refusal to accept the surface truths of ideas and of people's existence; her reasoning for why she refuses to pharmaceutically extend her cycles ad infinitum. And I loved - and needed to hear - what the many women who corresponded with her said about their experiences. Will be re-reading this one, and that's the highest compliment I can give. Made me feel so much less alone as a woman, as a human, as an animal, struggling.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I burned (ha!) through this book in one sitting. It was a great read. Empowering, revelatory, heartbreaking, empathetic, poetic, wise, profane and deeply spiritual. For me it was a much needed branch to grab onto amid the eddying rapids (both emotional and physical) of my 49th year. Yaaaassss!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Lunsford

    The author started this book because she couldn't find very much written about the process of menopause except where it is treated as a "disease" that needs to be treated. She did research and each short chapter covers a different aspect of what she discovered. Not surprisingly, little research has been done (after all, it only affects women). She attends a European conference on menopause where the male doctors dominate the conversation and focus everything through the lens of what men want fro The author started this book because she couldn't find very much written about the process of menopause except where it is treated as a "disease" that needs to be treated. She did research and each short chapter covers a different aspect of what she discovered. Not surprisingly, little research has been done (after all, it only affects women). She attends a European conference on menopause where the male doctors dominate the conversation and focus everything through the lens of what men want from their sexual partners and what treatments women can use to maintain a semblance of youth. She learns that few species have a post-reproductive phase of life but that one species that does are orcas. She studies the information about them and discovers that it is the post-reproductive females that lead the family groups because they have the most knowledge and experience and the freedom of not having to care for their own infants any longer. It is not dissimilar to what is found in hunter-gatherer cultures. She talks to women who mourn what they have lost and to women who are grateful for their newfound freedom. I highly recommend this book for any woman who is approaching or has already gone through menopause for some different perspectives. This is not a book that will tell you how to treat or suppress the physical, emotional, or psychological effects of the process. It documents them but is not a self-help or pseudo-medical guide.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Bateman

    With startling honesty and soul feeding wisdom, Darcey Steinke helps those of us who experience the great change reframe how we think about it. Her words came over me like a fire and burned away all the nonsense. Now I can regrow with fresh green. I loved this book. Every woman should read this and not wait for menopause. Steinke writes plainly about the stereotypes that would harm us all. She delves into the complex relationships we hold with our mothers, the truth about sex with an aging and s With startling honesty and soul feeding wisdom, Darcey Steinke helps those of us who experience the great change reframe how we think about it. Her words came over me like a fire and burned away all the nonsense. Now I can regrow with fresh green. I loved this book. Every woman should read this and not wait for menopause. Steinke writes plainly about the stereotypes that would harm us all. She delves into the complex relationships we hold with our mothers, the truth about sex with an aging and still passionate body, and the social position of older females in the killer whale population. I love killer whales and I hope one day to meet a postmenopausal one. I dare you to see female aging with wiser eyes. Let's take back our power.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Naomi Davidson

    This is a deeply feminist book. About menopause. Which, for the most part has only been explored and explained by men or western medicine which is largely male dominated. Most often it’s symptoms have not been studied...not clinically proven...or are yet to be proven clinically. Something that all women on the planet experience! As I start my own path this book provided a larger look at the world of experiences which helps to normalize instead of feeling grief or even more burdensome, shame. Lik This is a deeply feminist book. About menopause. Which, for the most part has only been explored and explained by men or western medicine which is largely male dominated. Most often it’s symptoms have not been studied...not clinically proven...or are yet to be proven clinically. Something that all women on the planet experience! As I start my own path this book provided a larger look at the world of experiences which helps to normalize instead of feeling grief or even more burdensome, shame. Like Elizabeth Gilbert said when recommending this book, my hot flashes are ultimately a gift from the universe — meant to burn away all the last remaining insecurity, neediness, body-image-anxiety...in short, all obstacles of youthful femininity that had kept me trapped for so long in people-pleasing, life-sucking behaviors. This book is fierce and important. And also, killer whales are most definitely my spirit animal.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Link

    I really wanted to like this book, having picked it up after reading a few thought-provoking excerpts and interviews. It has its insightful moments, but overall it’s just not very good. The author’s entitlement is a constant distraction, as are the cultural criticism contortions she puts various texts and situations through to underline her/our oppression. She obviously read widely on the topic before writing, but doesn’t engage much with the books she name-drops, instead sprinkling each chapter I really wanted to like this book, having picked it up after reading a few thought-provoking excerpts and interviews. It has its insightful moments, but overall it’s just not very good. The author’s entitlement is a constant distraction, as are the cultural criticism contortions she puts various texts and situations through to underline her/our oppression. She obviously read widely on the topic before writing, but doesn’t engage much with the books she name-drops, instead sprinkling each chapter with aphorisms like a college student trying to meet a minimum word count. Anyone who picks this somewhat obscure book up surely reads a lot, and surely has some awareness of how older women are viewed and treated in literature and in life, so I expected more than a de Beauvoir quote here and a Judy Chicago reference there. The section about killer whales - the only other mammals whose females have long post-reproductive lives - was the highlight, a new way of thinking about our aging as animals. I also enjoyed the chapter about her mother, which let the particular reveal the universal. The various chapters never gelled as a whole, though. I couldn’t tell what it was supposed to be, and I don’t think the author could, either,

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellyn Lem

    This is a really fascinating book about menopause, but it is not a self-help book or scientific approach; instead, Steinke focuses a lot on the natural world (whales in particular) to figure out what getting older means in our society--particularly, what are biological changes but what are social and cultural messages. Interspersed with her fascinating stories of whales and chimps is her story, dealing with the hot "flash"es from the title, but only to better understand herself. She combines quo This is a really fascinating book about menopause, but it is not a self-help book or scientific approach; instead, Steinke focuses a lot on the natural world (whales in particular) to figure out what getting older means in our society--particularly, what are biological changes but what are social and cultural messages. Interspersed with her fascinating stories of whales and chimps is her story, dealing with the hot "flash"es from the title, but only to better understand herself. She combines quotes from fiction writers, anthropologists, theorists, all of which have something to contribute, even if it times it became a bit too-quotey for me! Still, I could not wait to hear what she would share next either about her experiences (heading to a menopause conference hearing men talk almost exclusively about older women's late in life problems regarding sexuality or looking for whales). Frank discussions of vaginas happen in this book (so those who are prudish-beware!), but it is a lovely treatment of a complicated subject that so many people get wrong. By the end, there is much to be gathered about why females late in life should be seen as leaders and not has-been outdated versions of their earlier selves. Bravo!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Flynn

    This was a quick and enjoyable read that brought a lot of seemingly disparate things together, like killer whales and menopause. The latter being something that is universal to women but largely invisible in popular culture, not unlike menopausal women themselves. I found the notion running through the book of our connection to nature and to mortality -- and how menopause is a reminder of both -- was well-developed and intriguing. I liked reading about the author's kayaking expedition to meet ki This was a quick and enjoyable read that brought a lot of seemingly disparate things together, like killer whales and menopause. The latter being something that is universal to women but largely invisible in popular culture, not unlike menopausal women themselves. I found the notion running through the book of our connection to nature and to mortality -- and how menopause is a reminder of both -- was well-developed and intriguing. I liked reading about the author's kayaking expedition to meet killer whales and was disturbed by the account of her mother. Memoirs often give me a slightly queasy sense of spying on someone's life, even though I know obviously we are being invited to do so -- the author has, after all, written it with the idea of being read. There is a tricky line of deciding how much of oneself to reveal -- the author of a memoir risks either telling too much or not enough. And of course where that line falls is also dependent on the response of the reader.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Russell Ricard

    “Menopause is situated at the crossroads between the metaphysical and the biological. It is as much a spiritual challenge as it is a physical one,” says Darcey Steinke in Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life. This memoir/investigative story is an utterly fascinating, and emotionally satisfying dive into the biological, social-psychological, and ethical challenges of our understanding of menopause—especially since that understanding is rooted in a patriarchal medical e “Menopause is situated at the crossroads between the metaphysical and the biological. It is as much a spiritual challenge as it is a physical one,” says Darcey Steinke in Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life. This memoir/investigative story is an utterly fascinating, and emotionally satisfying dive into the biological, social-psychological, and ethical challenges of our understanding of menopause—especially since that understanding is rooted in a patriarchal medical establishment. Channeled through a poetic, openhearted voice, Steinke gives a fiercely brave, unflinching account of her personal journey. Only five animals experience menopause, and four of them live underwater. I didn’t know that, now I do. Particularly moving is Steinke’s exploration of her profound connection with one of the few other mammals that also experience menopause—the killer whale. A groundbreaking, eye-opening story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shawne Taylor

    This is a powerful, deeply engaging book. Steinke is a gifted memoirist, flitting between the sharing of her own journey, the writings of others on the topic of menopause, and the delivery of data, without ever losing a cohesive, narrative thread that feels raw, real, and profound. Maybe it’s because I found this book at just the perfect time in my life, but I feel changed by it. My kindle copy is full of highlighted passages and bookmarked pages that I know I will refer to many times. I recomme This is a powerful, deeply engaging book. Steinke is a gifted memoirist, flitting between the sharing of her own journey, the writings of others on the topic of menopause, and the delivery of data, without ever losing a cohesive, narrative thread that feels raw, real, and profound. Maybe it’s because I found this book at just the perfect time in my life, but I feel changed by it. My kindle copy is full of highlighted passages and bookmarked pages that I know I will refer to many times. I recommend this book to anyone (and everyone) who wants to dive into a different, more empowering (radical, subversive, natural) view of menopause — and middle aged womanhood — than what we are typically presented with.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I wish my mother had had this book years ago. I won this in a Goodreads contest at the right time. My male Dr had only said, "Your only alternative is Estrogen. But with most of my relatives already having or gone through a form of cancer or other. Hormones did not seem quite right for my bloodline. This book offered a couple of alternatives that work as well or better. It is an honest look at what so many have considered taboo. I gave this copy to my little sister since she too will be middle a I wish my mother had had this book years ago. I won this in a Goodreads contest at the right time. My male Dr had only said, "Your only alternative is Estrogen. But with most of my relatives already having or gone through a form of cancer or other. Hormones did not seem quite right for my bloodline. This book offered a couple of alternatives that work as well or better. It is an honest look at what so many have considered taboo. I gave this copy to my little sister since she too will be middle aged like me. Women should buy this book and share it with all their friends, sisters, aunts.... and then save it for our nieces and daughters since it is so open and true about the time of life most Dr.s avoid looking into.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book is annoying, provocative, hopeful, real, encouraging and profound all rolled into one. There is a lot for me to think about here, especially as I finished reading about the connection between females in the animal kingdom and human females next to a wild, female mallard duck. She climbed up onto the pier and slept 10 feet away from me in a very stiff wind. I think she was too exhausted to notice I was there. I felt some kind of odd female solidarity between the creature and I due to so This book is annoying, provocative, hopeful, real, encouraging and profound all rolled into one. There is a lot for me to think about here, especially as I finished reading about the connection between females in the animal kingdom and human females next to a wild, female mallard duck. She climbed up onto the pier and slept 10 feet away from me in a very stiff wind. I think she was too exhausted to notice I was there. I felt some kind of odd female solidarity between the creature and I due to some threads in this book. Serendipity!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Ann

    Although I applaud Steinke for contributing to (if not starting) a compassionate discussion about menopause, her memoir disappoints me with its disjointed and unengaging prose. I appreciated the (infuriating) information on hormone replacement therapy and found the comparison to trans people in transition interesting, but I would have also liked a look into how other cultures of people (not just whales) accommodate this stage of womanhood.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Not sure what I expected but it definitely wasn’t this narrative. However, I appreciated her cultural narrative and weaving together various concepts central around our cultural understanding of menopause. 3.5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Such an interesting read- I was fascinated with her study of female elder whales and their important roles in their communities. I feel Steinke’s rage and the ways in which menopause is addressed in medicine.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carolee Wheeler

    a beguiling mixture of horror and empowerment, minute and broad. Essential reading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    This is one of the few books out there that discusses menopause honestly and openly. It has long been treated as a problem that should be ignored, so it is nice to have a book with honest information.

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