The Madwoman and the Roomba: My Year of Domestic Mayhem

Sandra Tsing Loh. Norton, $25.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-393-24920-0
In this collection of let-it-all-hang-out essays, radio personality and writer Loh (The Madwoman in the Volvo) skewers the ironies of midlife. She’s a 50-something born at “the drooping tale of the boom” who possesses “Baby boom tastes on a Gen X budget”—a trait she shares with her partner, Charlie, a freelance theater producer—and the mother to two teen/tween girls living in Pasadena, Calif. Panicked by a cracked tooth and the fact she hasn’t seen a dentist in years, Loh notes, “We’re just show trash, aging bohemians... the ‘artsy’ college thing isn’t going to hack it.” The realization compels her to document “a simple year in midlife” in order to find the silver linings in “feeling old and young at the same time.” She samples Yankee Candles; takes advantage of Groupon deals on massages; has tax issues with the IRS just as her S&M-practicing accountant vanishes; runs amok when she allows a Hindu road crew for a touring guru stay at her home; and, despairing over her C+ Tiger Mom status, stoops to doing her daughter’s homework, resulting in her writing eight riotous poems. Loh’s voice is laugh-out-loud hilarious, and her fun house perspective on the foibles of middle age are intelligent and effervescent. Fans of her previous memoir and her NPR program The Loh Down on Science will delight in this outing. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2020
Release date: 06/02/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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