Four women suffering menopausal symptoms get an incredible relief system: creams so good that they give them superpowers. The hot flashes, discomfort, and uneasiness turn into super strength for Linda, bulletproof skin for Patricia, flying ability for Jessica, and fire power for Helen. This surprising premise mixes some very odd things indeed, and immediately sparked my curiosity, so I approached Samantha Bryant asking for a review copy.
The narrative genre for women seems only interested in finding new revenues of the Fifty Shades of Grey variety, and it’s hard to hear about women past a certain age, especially in heroic fiction. I think this story is a step on the right direction, and it can also be a useful and funny way to start talking about the Change itself; all women will pass it at some point of their lives, and the people around it at least should know what to expect.
The book takes a little while to really get going, since the main points for all involved are their relationships, and it takes its time setting them up. As you can imagine, the changes are not easy to cope with. For example, Linda turns into a man in the process, and her husband somehow finds the strength to accept that… Helen burns down her house, and the surprise of seeing Jessica perched on the roof sends daddy out to the hospital. In general, the new powers wreak havoc among the close family members of each woman.
As for why these alternative creams trigger such strange reactions? In comes from the now forever-young local chemist and biologist Cindy Liu. She is the creator of these radical new treatments, responsible for the strange side effects, and, ultimately, the reason for all women to gather together and fight.
I think the book works well as an excuse to talk about the menopause experience and how women are expected to cope with pressure from all directions. For me, the most surprising novel to feature female characters in strange and new situations is the graphic novel series Y: The Last Man. In it, all men suddenly disappear, except one man and a male monkey. To find out what happened they must disguise themselves, because now only women are around: old, young, frightened, sad, angry … and suddenly in charge of everything. The story builds on this bizarre setting and really makes the readers question what they know about gender.
In this novel’s case, the question it raises for the reader is about the women themselves and what they want for their futures. Ultimately, relationships weigh very much on the decisions ahead of each one; their personal lives may benefit from their newfound powers, but they could also put their loved ones in jeopardy. Of course, this great responsibility is akin to all superheroes.
A female point of view includes many things, some very present in the story; there is lots of humor, lots of feelings, and also discomfort described in a playful way. If you like it, you will probably find yourself looking forward to the second in the series.
You can buy the book on Amazon.
Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel
By Samantha Bryant
Curiosity Quills Press (April 23, 2015)
Cover art courtesy of Curiosity Quills Press
7 thoughts on “‘Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel’”
Why is this on GeekDad? Mariana Ruiz clearly states that this book is in “The narrative genre FOR WOMEN”.. see that? FOR WOMEN? Does Geek Dad have a shortage of male writers or readers? Are you hard pressed for content? Did Geek Mom pass on this ludicrous piece?
The answers to your questions are no, no, and no. If you’ve read GeekDad for any length of time, you’d know that we’ve always had some geeky mom writers as well. Considering that, according to our analytics, a full third of our readership is female, having one post out of the last, oh, 100+ that nudges the content meter slightly to the female side of the centerline should not only NOT be surprising, it should be welcome. This post satisfies our content guidelines, and provides information useful to both our female readers (who might want to read the book), and our male readers (who might want to get it for someone they know… or read it themselves, too!).
You can defend it, but we know that no male is ever going to recommend this book to anyone. Quit pretending. I just wanted to voice my opinion before this rarity becomes a trend. Now, Im waiting for one of your female writers to complain about last night’s Game of Thrones episode..
After reading Mariana’s review, I was actually considering adding it to my reading list, because I like superhero fiction that goes in weird directions. I’ll be sure to let you know if I read it and recommend it.
lol, is it necessary for the senior editor to be the one to step up because none of the other male readers would? your panic now invalidates any affirmative responses from male readers as they are now written off as just sycophants. You should have shown a little patience.
That’s not really how things work around here, but as Ken already pointed out, if you read more of GeekDad you’d understand why. I’m not really seeing why responding to your comment means I’m panicking, nor why any other male reader would be trying to impress me.
Women also read Geekdad, enjoy its contents and enjoy the themes: comics, games, fantasy, science fiction. This is a middle ground story: women and superheroes. I’d like to think that every man out there has female relatives that may be interested in this book. If Geek mom find it interesting, they may want to post it in their website as well, nobody shakes their head if a “men oriented content” gets shared there. Sorry if you think there is a shortage of male writers and readers, I can assure you is not the case.
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