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A Life's Work Paperback – 6 Mar 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571238491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571238491
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'Deeply fascinating... nakedly honest, witty and eloquent.' Helen Dunmore"

Book Description

A Life's Work is Rachel Cusk's controversial, funny and moving account of her first few years of motherhood.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PaintedDog on 28 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An honest book, but really, what's all the fuss about? If people aren't saying this, what are they deluding themselves with? I did expect a much more problematic portrayal of parenting, instead it just narrates what I observe and hear from all my friends. I guess if you're open to talking about the grim reality of parenting you won't get much from this, but if you don't have access to honest conversation with other parents then this book must be a godsend. Given this is one of the most universally shared experiences it's odd there aren't a plethora of books in this vein, but the author reveals why.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. E. T. Mann on 24 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are no answers in this book, only questions. How do parents, particularly the stay at home parent, survive the loneliness and exhaustion of the first year of a baby's life ? How does the baby survive while the parent learns to understand and respond to the child's communications? It's a miracle of commitment.
There is some evidence now that colic is caused by an immature autonomic nervous system, which is why it often disappears after 3 months.
Sleep? There is also some evidence that if the mother sleeps with the baby in bed (and nobody else eg like a partner), there's a decrease in cot death and the mother definitely gets more sleep. (If she doesn't smoke drink alcohol or take drugs of course).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GFWP on 26 Feb. 2012
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This book threw me a life-line when I was suffering with post-natal depression. It was the first and only true voice I heard about what it felt like to be a mother. I read much of it in tears - of relief that someone else had felt like that and gratitude that she had written about it. There's so much mythology and so many lies about motherhood, so much posturing - the honesty of this beautifully written memoir cuts through all that and meant a great deal to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mrs cooper on 24 Jan. 2014
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I bought this as I was writing an assignment on attachment theory. The book was well written and interesting in terms of describing infant development and the impact of initial relationships as seen in this book from the mother's perspective. Even if you weren't writing an essay would probably still find it a useful read as it highlights how bewildering having a baby can be!
Condition of book was good and arrived promptly.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robyn on 29 Mar. 2008
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I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book, having heard of Cusk's work - and the resultant criticisms. I was hoping for a voice which I could relate to as a mum, and the ambivalence of my feelings towards motherhood.

This book made me laugh, not only out loud, but with tears rolling down my face. I got my identification. I would especially recommend it for a mum to be, or someone with little kids/babies - if they can find the time to read it.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Artemis San Fran on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
As a new mother I didn't have time to read anything in the early months of my son's life, but my husband bought me this book for Mother's Day and from the first page I couldn't stop reading. I had no idea there was any controversy over the book until reading the description just now on Amazon. I thought it was one of the most literary and beautifully real expressions of how, at least I, was feeling in those first months as a first-time mother. Reading this book was like talking to a good friend. I am also glad to have discovered such a wonderful writer and look forward to reading more of her books now that I have more time.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ocelot on 30 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
I only got round to reading this close to my son's second birthday because he was so poorly and slept badly until he was around a year old and then pretty patchily after that. I wish I had been able to read it during that first year because I also felt so guilty that I was far from feeling 'blissed out'. Thanks for speaking out so honestly.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. White on 28 May 2008
Format: Paperback
I read loads of books when coming to terms with the life changing event of having my first child. This was definitely the best and the only one to capture the deep, complex and conflicting emotions of this journey. And be bloody funny too. Excellent.
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