THE SHIFT

I’d been looking forward to The Shift for a long time, and I have to say it doesn’t disappoint. Sam Baker, co-founder of The Pool and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Red, Just 17 and the brilliant cool-girls mag Minx (remember it?), has written a book full of righteous anger for women who hit 40 and think ‘is this it?’. In it Sam gives vent to a lot of the frustration, loneliness and horror that midlife and the menopause can often bring.

With the help of a posse of case studies whose testimony adds weight and breadth to her observations, Baker tackles the big challenges of getting older and how women are viewed by society and judged once they reach a certain age. In the work place. In the bedroom. Ordering drinks at the bar. Buying clothes. In relationships. And you’ll be glad to know that Baker doesn’t pull any punches. Ever been made to feel invisible? Sidelined at work for daring not to be young anymore? Praised for being ‘brave’ enough to go grey? Told by a doctor that ‘we all grow old’ when you’re trying to get menopause advice and HRT? The Shift is full of anecdotes, facts and figures that show just how out of sync the world is with midlife women.

Sam gives lots of insights into her own career challenges as a magazine editor and entrepreneur (the horror of pitching her business to all-male investors is an OMG moment). Her advice to enjoy the invisibility superpower that this life stage gives us and go do our own thing is what Audrey is all about. Buy this book for your menopausal sister, your colleague who’s been shafted at work, your best mate who’s struggling to come to terms with the ‘flesh duvet’ of her changing body. Or buy it for yourself. And get galvanised.

Marina Gask