“She’s earned her stripes. But the hive’s misbehaving . . .“
– Queen Bee
How do I have three extra adult males – and a small yappy dog – living in my house when I need to grow into a graceful and sexual midlife woman?
What’s going to happen to my career if I can’t get out of this rut?
What is happening to me?
[ About Queen Bee ]
Fifty-year-old Agatha Doyle loves her empty nest – until hot flushes, a pair of killer heels and an overbearing man who won’t stop talking conspire to change her life. In one moment of madness, she unwittingly becomes a heroine to women everywhere.
But can she become the heroine of her own life?
Sometimes you just have to wing it.
[ My Review ]
Queen Bee by Ciara Geraghty was published February 2nd with Harper Collins Ireland. Cecelia Ahern described it as ‘Bridget Jones meets menopause . . . sharp, funny and real’.
For every female of every age, for any man brave enough to take a punt, Queen Bee is a universally relatable book that will 100% resonate with so many women. But it is also just as important a read for all family members, partners, work colleagues – everyone really. Queen Bee centres around Agatha Doyle, a married woman with two adult sons who have both suddenly returned to the family home. Agatha is a writer who is struggling to meet the demands of life. Her editor is expecting her next book any day now but Agatha is unable to focus or to get her thoughts straightened out. Agatha is exhausted from lack of sleep due to insomnia. She is constantly berating everyone, angry with everything and just generally not herself. Her anxiety levels are at fever pitch and she feels like no one is paying her any attention. Agatha feels invisible.
Many will immediately recognise Agatha’s stage in life. Agatha is fifty years of age and is embarking on that life-altering journey is every woman’s life, The Menopause. I have to be honest here and say I am fifty-two years old and have just started on a course of HRT, so every word in this book screamed at me. I laughed, I tutted, I got angry, I empathised and I just thoroughly enjoyed every single part of Queen Bee.
A few months ago I was dizzy, exhausted, my brain was in a total fug and I just couldn’t see light in my day. I thought it was just me. A wonderful friend suggested I might consider HRT as I was clearly experiencing multiple symptoms of menopause. Within a short time that overwhelming feeling inexplicably lifted. I started to feel a little more of a bounce in my step. I’m still waking up in the early hours, so sleep deprivation is very much still part of my day, but I can feel myself returning to me.
In Queen Bee, Agatha Doyle unexpectedly becomes a pin up girl for menopausal women everywhere after she completely loses the plot at a book festival. A question was posed by an audience member, clearly bypassing her, the only female on the panel. Agatha had enough. Her reaction and words went viral and soon Agatha’s presence was in demand on all media platforms. Women were writing to her in their droves telling her about their own personal experiences and Agatha soon realised that she had opened a box that could not, and should not, ever be shut.
But while Agatha was busy representing menopausal women everywhere, her personal life was fracturing. The distance between Luke, her husband, and herself was getting wider by the day. Her father was fast moving on in a new relationship following the fairly recent passing of Agatha’s mother. Her best friend was living in LA and caught up in love. Both her sons were seemingly in some kind of limbo in their lives and Agatha was in a dither as to how to fix everything. The media events offered a wonderful distraction but eventually Agatha had to face a few truths and figure out how to get her house in order.
My final thoughts:
Queen Bee is a wonderfully warm-hearted and funny read but also a very important and considered read. Ciara Geraghty has explored that taboo of subjects, The Menopause, and injected humour into the experiences of one fabulous lady, Agatha Doyle. Written in diary format, we journey alongside Agatha as she navigates this new world she finds herself in. From her early morning ramblings to her daily updates on her life, reading Queen Bee is like reading the diary of a real person.
Queen Bee provides a candid and very perceptive insight into the life of a menopausal woman. Agatha Doyle could be any woman. She is every woman. Agatha Doyle is me. With a lightness of tone, Ciara Geraghty has written a highly entertaining and perceptive read that hits the nail on the head in so many ways. The witty dialogue lightens the subject matter brilliantly, while still conveying the importance of its message. Highly recommend to all.
[ Bio ]
Ciara Geraghty is a bestselling Irish novelist. She lives in Dublin with one husband, two ‘technically’ grown-up children and one actual kid, who is probably the most mature of the lot of them. When she is not writing in her garret, Ciara loves reading, swimming in the sea and playing her violin and also co-hosts the podcast BookBirds.
Twitter ~ @ciarageraghty