We love supporting all things menopause related, especially when we feel it educates,
supports or helps others in some way.
Having read the first Menopause Monologues, by Harriet Powell, I was delighted to run into her at a John Lewis Menopause event last year – she is lovely, and, whilst she chatted with Mum, she asked whether she would like to contribute her story to the follow up book, Menopause Monologues 2.
Both books are brilliant; funny, inspiring and heart warming with tales of everyday people affected by the menopause. Mum’s story about her brain-fog induced Bolognelli recipe disaster can be found in the second book, but why not put both on your reading list? Here’s a bit more about both books…
The Menopause Monologues started off as an unassuming little book, independently
published by a successful children’s author. But what started as a passion project for Harriet Powell has gained a celebrity following. Emma Thompson says it’s “wonderful” and Lorraine Kelly calls it “incredible”. Kristin Scott Thomas, Amanda Redman and Meg Mathews are also fans.
Harriet understands what it is like to make an impact in publishing. Her first children’s book, The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43, was shortlisted for the 2010 Blue Peter Book of the Year. But she says this is different: “When I started getting handwritten letters back from people like Emma, Lorraine and Kristin, I felt incredibly moved. I had no idea that this would make such a deep impression on women from all walks of life.”
The Menopause Monologues is a collection of anonymous, frank, funny and often moving first-person narratives about what the menopause really feels like. It talks about hot flushes, sleepless nights and lost libido – but it also gives a more authentic, nuanced insight into women’s experiences.
Several contributors talk about depression and suicidal feelings. But there are also laugh- out-loud stories, including accounts from the many women who thought their periods had stopped, only to find that they hadn’t. One ended up walking into a café like John Wayne, thanks to a wodge of loo roll crafted into an emergency sanitary towel.
Harriet started compiling the book after hearing a phone-in on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. She was so shocked by the shame people felt about the menopause that she had to pull over.
“I realised, listening to the programme, that there is still huge shame around the menopause,
and I wanted to break that taboo,” she says.
She emailed friends asking them to contribute and even asked a few men for their takes – including her own husband, whose story made her cry when she first read it.
The book has been so successful that Harriet has just released a second volume, jam-packed
with more moving, honest experiences of going through the menopause and featuring
wonderful endorsements on the back by Emma Thompson and Lorraine Kelly. She is
heartened by the number of contributors who have waived their anonymity for this second
collection of stories and believes that we have at last begun to break down the barriers that
surround the subject.
Both books are available from all good bookshops and also from Amazon: