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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Abbie Slocum is middle-aged, married and suffering the consequences of menopause. As she goes through this phase of her life, hormone-addled and teetering between sanity and a place of no return, she hangs on to her life by sharing her difficulties with her best friend Rachel, and a rather mysterious new friend named Joan. Together they escape the troubles of menopause through wild nights until a rather mysterious circumstance catches up on Abbie, where she becomes the primary suspect in a murder case. To top it all, her increasingly bizarre behavior confuses Abbie’s husband Conrad, a cop, and her two sons. Eventually, she finds herself in a jail cell, coming face to face with herself and her regrets. How will she get herself through it all? Will she even make it?
Menopause is a confusing time for women, what with extreme changes happening to the body, but this novel tells a woman’s story with such exciting sequences – at times nerve-wracking, at others humorous – that give us a clear picture of exactly how crazy a woman’s journey can become. Anne O’Connor develops her characters solidly in a story that flows smoothly. It is likely that a reader may initially conclude it as a book for older women, but it is not just for them – although it tells their story – nor is it your simple chic-lit fare. With courtroom drama and a murder case rolled into one, "Mental Pause" is a highly engaging, funny yet enlightening read, worth every minute of your time.