Menopause to Matrimony

Written by Shelly Hickman ⎮ Narrated by Jazmine Ramay

Author: Shelly Hickman
Narrator: Jazmine Ramay
Length: 5 hours and 30 minutes
Series: Fortytude Series, Book 2
Publisher: Shelly Hickman
Released: June 10, 2020
Genre: Romantic Comedy

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Synopsis

Although this is a sequel, it may be heard as a stand-alone novel.

The sequel to Vegas to Varanasi catches up with Anna and Kiran a couple of years after the event that brought the once “ugly duckling” high school acquaintances together. But will their romance continue to flourish in the face of a whole new set of insecurities brought on by middle age?

First, there’s Kiran, who has an unexpected health scare. While his doctors assure no permanent damage has been done, there seems to have been some damage to his personality, as the normally respectful and reserved Kiran begins behaving erratically and overtly. Anna wants to hope that this is temporary, sparked by the visit of Kiran’s womanizing, free-spirited cousin, Seth. But is this just the midlife Kiran surfacing?

Anna has midlife issues of her own. Now forty-eight, she’s navigating the onset of perimenopause and all the delights that come with it, from facial hair to mood swings to body temperature issues. On top of that, her two-year-old granddaughter is starting to show signs of a behavior disorder, bringing with it a whole other level of stress and worry.

Will Anna and Kiran finally find their happily-ever-after? Or end up stuck in a midlife mess in this romantic comedy of accepting change, and “the change”.

Becky's Review

5 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, Shelly Hickman, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Shelly!

Menopause to Matrimony was a hard book for me to get through. Not because it isn’t good. On the contrary, it’s a great combination of funny, emotional, and sweet. I love that it takes an honest look at midlife, warts and all, but it does it with such an upbeat tone that you can’t help but laugh. For me, it was a combination of laughter and tears, which brings me back to the thing that held me up on this one.

I was part way through the book when I lost my husband to the same health scare as Kiran, but that isn’t what made it so tough. Nope, what got me was that with some exceptions, this could’ve been our story. Some details are different, but the fundamentals are so similar that this one hit me right in the feels. So, I listened for brief periods at a time, and yes, this one is funny, so I laughed a lot, which is something I really needed. I also cried a lot as some things brought back memories of similar situations.

As it turned out, Shelly Hickman’s fast-paced and energetic story of second chances and romance after forty was exactly what I needed at this particular time in my life, and I really can’t thank her enough for such a wonderful story filled with so many equally wonderful characters. It all came together to be a bit of escape and a bit of therapy for this grieving widow, so Menopause to Matrimony is definitely on my recommended read list.

The story is a romance, but it isn’t that swoony, mushy kind of love story. Make no mistake, it’s obvious that Kiran and Anna love each other, but they also have the chaos of life and everything that comes with it. The entire book is told from Anna’s perspective, so we get all of her doubts and fears about everything from marrying again to things going on in her adult children’s lives to worrying about Kiran’s health, both physical and emotional. What is most impressive to me is that it all just feels real. It’s witty and often hilarious, but it still rings true, especially if you’ve been there. It’s also impressive that Hickman manages to give us so much of what’s happening in Kiran’s head by way of conversations and actions, so he’s still a big part of the story even if we don’t get his perspective.

Finally, we have the narrator, and Jazmine Ramay’s performance here is spot on how I’d expect Anna to sound. From her snark to her angst, it all comes through loud and clear, and the narration adds that something extra to an already terrific story. The sound quality is good overall. There were a few spots that you can hear what sounds like a hiss between chapters, but it isn’t loud and it doesn’t hinder the listening experience at all.

All in all, Menopause to Matrimony is a great follow-up to the first Fortytude book, and while I enjoyed them both, this one has a special place in my heart.

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