Period Power: Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working For You by Maisie Hill

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Period Power: Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working For You by Maisie Hill

Published by: Green Tree, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing

Non Fiction, 346 pages

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Book summary on Goodreads:

Period Power is a profound but practical blueprint for aligning daily life with the menstrual cycle, to give women a no-nonsense explanation of what the hell happens to their hormones every month and how they can use each phase to its full advantage.Ninety per cent of women experience symptoms of PMS, a syndrome which features a wide range of signs and symptoms and yet there’s an enduring lack of understanding about what it actually is, and a disappointingly meager range of treatment options.

So many of us have a Jekyll and Hyde experience of our lives; we feel on top of the world, capable, confident and sexy for part of each month, then find ourselves in a state of physical and emotional discomfort and fatigue, wanting nothing more than to collapse on the sofa in front of Netflix. But what if instead of just trying to plan for our dark days, women were equipped with ways to improve them? What if our desire to improve ourselves could be combined with our need to know just what our womb and ovaries are getting up to every month? Not to mention how to take advantage of the natural superpowers that sit in each phase of our cycle, so that we can plan our month to perform at our best. Using what Hill calls the cycle strategy–a woman’s secret weapon when it comes to improving her relationships, career and health–she will apply the principles of Eastern and Western medicine to give women all they need to make sense of their cycles, as well as accessible and practical suggestions through which readers can improve their physical symptoms, and stop berating themselves because of the way that they evolve through each menstrual month.

About the author:Maisie Hill is a highly qualified and sought-after women’s health expert with over a decade of experience as a practitioner. Period Power is her first book.

My Review:*

*Thank you Bloomsbury India for sending me a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

If you are looking for a book that talks in plain English about the details of periods and how they affect the functioning of countless women across the world, this is the book for you. I loved it that the language is reader friendly and not stepped in medical and technical parlance. The almost pop cultural demeanor about this book is what made me take to it like a duck to water!

Like many other women, I have my good times and the really terrible times with my periods. Also, like many other students in this country, the chapter on reproductive organs was a ‘read it yourself’ exercise that the Biology teacher asked our class to do. I remember not knowing where the vagina begins and ends! I remember wanting to know and not knowing whom to ask.

I grew up wanting to know how periods would change me a as a human being but dreaded it too for periods meant asked to curtail my movements in the house: the kitchen was off limits and I was expected to wash my mosquito net and bed sheets on the 5th day of my cycle (there were no washing machines when I was growing up). I hated growing up as a girl once my period pain swung into action and I hated it more that there was no one to talk about what I was going through. How I wish this book had been around then!

Filled with illustrations, this is one handy book that will help you map out your monthly cycle and even plan how best to cope and live comfortably with it. The chapter names and paragraph headings are a scream with their clever word play and just the sort of thing to catch your attention. I loved the almost conversational tone that jumps up from the writing. I would recommend this for every woman and girl struggling with their monthly periods. Just go read this.

 

 

 

 

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

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The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Published by: Picador

Fiction, 350 pages

Rating: 4/5 stars

Book summary:

Lib Wright, a young English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl. An educated skeptic, Lib expects to expose the fast as a hoax right away. But as she gets to know the girl, she becomes more and more unsure. Is Anna a fraud or a ‘living wonder’? Or is something more sinister unfolding right before Lib’s eyes? The Wonder works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

About the author:

Emma Donoghue is an Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, novelist, and screenwriter. Her 2010 novel Room was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and is an international best-seller. Room was adapted into a film of the same name, for which Donoghue wrote the screenplay that was subsequently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Donoghue writes across genres and for screen, stage and radio.

My Review:

Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder is the kind of book that takes you places you did not intend to reach. The premise looks simple enough: Lib Wright, a young English nurse who has been called to oversee claims that 11 yr Anna O’ Donnell has not eaten for four months. Set some years after the infamous Potato famine in Ireland, this book captures the life of a nondescript village in the grip of concerns over potato crops, the smell of wet weather and the beginning of a ‘wonder’ in the form of Anna who is attracting villagers and people from continents and countries. Where Wright sees a hoax, many see opportunities and a miracle in the making. Wright who has worked along with Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War earlier is skeptical of the claims being made by Anna’s family and thinks the girl is involved in an elaborate hoax along with her family. Working in shifts with a nun, Wright starts with distrust and is cloistered by the religious fervor that surrounds her. Much of the setting of the book starts in the small room where Anna lies but slowly, moves outdoors and in doing so takes readers into the subtle layers of the push and pull between the fissures and antagonism that exists between the Irish and the British even as they are bound by the Roman catholic faith.

The Wonder can perhaps come across as ‘slow’ with its lyrical pace and narrative style kept mostly to Wright’s thoughts and opinions but I would call upon readers to be patient and trust in this story of a patient and nurse grappling over faith and trust. There are a few characters that remain on the periphery but add to the slow drama that unfolds: I will recommend this for those who love to read narratives that grow on you even as they make you think: about parents who subject their children to live with guilt and fear, about care givers who must tread between professional service and connection with their wards.

This is my first book by Emma Donoghue but having loved the clever fictional world she took me to (her afterword mentions the book is based on actual events), I will definitely look out for her other works.