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The Middlepause: On Life After Youth

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  27 reviews
The Middlepause offers a vision of contentment in middle age, without sentiment or delusion. Marina Benjamin weighs the losses and opportunities of our middle years, taking inspiration from literature, science, philosophy, and her own experience. Spurred by her surgical propulsion into a sudden menopause, she finds ways to move forward while maintaining clear-eyed ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Catapult (first published 2016)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  138 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jason Pettus
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
My low score today doesn't reflect this manuscript's quality -- it's actually a really lovely book, written in an engagingly poetic and confessional style -- but rather that the dust jacket makes this sound like a book of general thoughts about aging that are applicable to both genders, while the book itself makes it clear that Benjamin is 100-percent exclusively talking about the female phenomenon of menopause, even going so far as flat-out stating in the introduction, "I suppose men have ...more
Sharah McConville
The Middlepause by Marina Benjamin is part memoir and part scientific research. It addresses the issue of Middle-Age, which I won't have to think about for at least another decade. This book was actually quite sad, especially the chapters about the author's Father dying and the the death of her friend, writer Kirsty Milne. I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways.
Colleen Fauchelle
Coming up to your teenage years, the mother sits their daughter down to tell them about periods, School tell you about sex. But no one sits you down and tells you about menopause and how to handle it. You know it exists and that it is an ending of youth. But will It be easy or hard and what do I expect as menopause comes up to slap me in the face. So that is why when this book came into work I decided to read it.
I guess what I have learnt is that it is different for everyone no two woman are
Lynne Spreen
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midlife
(I actually read the paperback but that version isn't shown on GR). My response to this book may be biased by my preference for a more optimistic perspective; the tone of the book is primarily downbeat. It's one woman's experience of aging, and written when she was 49. That can be a rough time, and for her especially because of surgery that brought on menopause overnight, with severe symptoms. However, I wish I could tell her that, for a majority of women, their spirits rise later in life. ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
The Prologue and Epilogue were prosaic and profound. However, the individual chapters are a mix of reflection, scientific research and literary criticism. It was an odd mix and I found myself skimming through many of the chapters. It is a topic that desperately needs reflection beyond just the physical changes of the female body. Middlepause disappointedly missed the mark.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking—sometimes I adored and sometimes I chaffed. I am not sure I subscribe to the idea that there are two parts of life that you have to live differently. I instead liked her idea of the succession of our many selves. The organization, chapter titles and content, were elegant—part science survey, part book report, part journal. The writing is quite beautiful and she seems like an older friend (a decade beyond me) that I would like to have. Her description of her relationships, ...more
Scribe Publications
This tender and thoughtful book calls for an “invisible revolution” in our attitudes to women’s ageing. In a deeply personal meditation Benjamin places body knowledge and luck alongside grieving and family history; intimate reflection with literary exemplar; communion with ghosts sadly close to the painful real. The Middlepause is a wise, lucid and beautiful plea for more candid discussion of the time-wrought transformations of the female body.
Gail Jones, Author of A Guide to Berlin

Both a deeply
Yvette - Bookworlder
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: firstreads
Turning fifty seems monumental. It is a turning point, a redefining. Marina Benjamin has captured so well this transitional, or as she terms it, liminal state. In her more personal reflections, the way she communicates the feelings of this time are at once beautifully and bitterly apt.

Though her experience is not exactly mine, the similarities and the feeling of solidarity I found in this slim book are breathtaking. The Middlepause explores many facets of this time, navigating the changing
Brona's Books
Suddenly finding yourself experiencing perimenopausal symptoms and not knowing what to do with them can be rather startling if not frightening at times.

Considering how much medical knowledge we have about pretty much every other aspect of our physical lives, I am surprised by how much myth and mystery still surrounds menopause and it's various stages.

Fortunately, the baby boomers have never done anything quietly or on the sly, which is good for us Gen X-er's that follow along. As the boomers
Anne Peachey
A deeply personal book on turning 50 and the journey of aging for women.
Marina Benjamin explores Menopause and the myths and truths behind treatments and the way different people deal with a factual part of getting older.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was helpful in knowing that I'm not alone and my experiences are not unique. It gives me a good perspective moving forward to do what I really want to do but not get hung up on things I cannot change.
I am myself just short of the milestone of turning 50, not yet experiencing menopause, but perhaps seeing some early signs of it. So I was interested to read a personal account of another woman reaching, and passing, those milestones.

“The Middlepause” is a personal account, and doesn’t pretend to be a medical tract, nor to have answers for everything. It includes some very interesting history about the origins of HRT therapy, and a personal account of Benjamin’s experiences with it. This is a
Ellyn Lem
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This wasn't the book that I thought it was going to be, but I loved it anyway and would strongly recommend it to anyone in their 50s who is interested in evaluating this time in life. Benjamin does write about menopause, which is why I picked up the book for my own book chapter on men and women's health in old age, but that is only a small part of the book. It is organized around chapters labeled for different body parts, but the content of the chapters don't seem to necessarily focus on that ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this on Good Reads.

Middlepause is the perfect name for this period of time in a woman's life.

I often get frustrated when the wrong reference is made between peri-menopause and menopause. Let's educate ourselves or no one else will do it for us.

Having 5 older sisters and already reaching menopause myself, I never expected what's even next to come. Bladder slings, falling uterus. Can't wait.

If I would have known the things my body was going to go through, I would have said "no
*2.5 rounded up.

I dithered about whether to call this self-help, but decided to because it traces the course of the writer sorting out how to help herself not give a damn about or reframe all the social trauma the world wants to heap on women turning 50, being middle-aged, becoming less visible, and cope with the body's menopausal experiences of hot flashes, fatigue, brain fog, mood downswings.

I'm interested in finding personal books on menopause because there are shockingly few (though this
Gaynor Thomas
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
Two stars because the author can write. She has a lyrical, poetic style which is very pleasant. No more stars, because this was not the book it was made out to be. I was expecting a kind of handbook for menopausal women, with advice and understanding. This is an autobiographical account of the author's own experience, written in an extremely literary style. If that was what I wanted, I would have thought it very good. As it is, I feel it was mis-sold, and if I had not borrowed it from the ...more
Teresa O'Halloran
I came to this audio book hoping to find out more about the 'change' I am currently going through. Well I did find out more, but not quite what I wanted or was expecting.

This was an interesting book, read by the author, but it was rather depressing. What I am really looking for is a book which embraces the 'second spring'.

In China menopause is known as 'second spring', a time of rebirth, renewal, and new opportunity. This is the way I like to view menopause - as freedom.
Writing style is not my cup of tea.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this - gave me some perspective on what lies ahead and empathise with some loved ones.
Rita Ciresi
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read my full review of this thoughtful memoir in BoomerLitMag:
Robin Hershman
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-winner
Great Book!! For women going through Menapause this is a great read. Someone who you can relate with, laughed and cried! Cant thank you enough for the advanced copy!!
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2018
Rachael Lowe
rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2019
I've been percolating a novel about a "middle-aged" woman, and I cannot tell you how helpful this book was in learning some key details about what it's like to be "of a certain age." On the other hand, this book also creeped me the hell out by revealing all sorts of things my body is not looking forward to going though in the next 10 to 20 years. It was a very different type of memoir, one very researched-based and almost academic, but personal to fill in gaps potentially created by sterility. ...more
rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2016
rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2018
sandra hogan
rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2017
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Marina Benjamin worked as a journalist before turning to non-fiction and, later, memoir. She has served as arts editor of the New Statesman and deputy arts editor of the Evening Standard and has written features and book reviews for most of the broadsheet papers. Her first book Living at the End of the World (1998) looked at the mass psychology of millenarians. Rocket Dreams (2003), an offbeat ...more