Can Any Mother Help Me? and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £16.99
  • You Save: £1.53 (9%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Can Any Mother Help Me? has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships from Amazon's warehouse.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Can Any Mother Help Me? Hardcover – 1 Mar 2007


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£15.46
£0.27 £0.01


Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (1 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571233139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571233137
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 728,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'A fascinating picture of what it meant to be a woman - and a mother - throughout the 20th century.'
-- Easy Living

'A marvellous book about women's lives in the 20th century ... By the end, they feel like friends.' -- Financial Times

'A unique record of female friendship during the last century ... They write in intimate detail, often as events unfold ... Engrossing.' -- Guardian

'A valuable record of the necessity of friendship and the difficultly, elation and boredom of motherhood.'
-- Daily Telegraph

'Beautifully written and emotionally engaging. Bailey's selection
and organisation of the material is very good indeed.'
-- Telegraph

'Gruelling childbirth anecdotes jostle for space with war stories and tales of unrequited love for the GP ... Fascinating.' -- Evening Standard

'Jenna Bailey has skilfully compiled and edited some of what survives from the magazines ... compelling.' -- London Review of Books

'The women's letters (honest, articulate, humorous and moving) reflect their distinct backgrounds, families and politics, and their shared resilience and humour.' -- Sunday Times

`Fantastically absorbing, frequently funny ... gives us a
remarkable opportunity to indulge in that most human of pleasures,
eavesdropping.' -- Observer

`The standard of writing is amazing. Historian Jenna Bailey has
done us all a service that goes beyond a contribution to women's history.'
-- Times

Book Description

Can Any Mother Help Me? by Jenna Bailey is an extraordinary true story of motherhood, friendship and a secret magazine, which is both compelling and thought-provoking. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Super Walker on 27 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book - I picked it up based on a recommendation and wasn't sure if I was going to be all that interested, but it is absolutely captivating. The stories of these women are remarkable, and the tale of their friendship, held together mainly by letters over half a century, is extraordinary. It's very well edited, too, as the letters have been carefully chosen and little background biographies are provided for all the women.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
65 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Susanna on 30 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an insight into the isolation of women at home with children particularly between the wars when married women were not allowed to work outside the home and some could not even afford a radio for company. No mod cons but mindless housework left thoughtful women in need of intelligent company which they found through their correspondence club. From young mothers to widowhood and their eventual deaths this a moving selction of their writing. Incidentally my mother in law was one of the original members.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By booksetc on 6 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Somehow, the title of this book had put me off. I knew that the Cooperative Correspondence Club began after a young mother wrote to a woman's magazine in 1935 complaining of her lonely life and asking Can Any Mother Help? So I jumped to the conclusion that the CCC would be a forum for helpful tips about potty training and pureed carrots.
How wrong I was. The women who contributed to the CCC's round robin 'magazine' were articulate, highly educated feminists and the friendships they made through the mag were their lifeline. Imagine this: Cornelia and Pat married in 1924 when she was 30 and he was 24 and had a job at the Westminster Bank. They had to wait for the bank's approval (dependent on income) before they could marry; they were offered a mortgage, but only if Pat promised 'never to speak from a public platform' and never to buy anything on hire purchase (feistily, he refused); and Cornelia had to give up a well-paid job that she loved - she earned more than her young husband - because the bank refused to allow employees' wives to work. I felt so spitting mad on Cornelia's behalf that I felt like closing my own NatWest account.
For 50 years, the women wrote so frankly about the ups and downs of their lives - a nervous breakdown, a heart-wrenching divorce, experiences of childbirth and heartbreaking widowhood - that some chapters reduced me to tears. In old age, when some were in care homes, their pen-friendships, as long as they could write, kept them sane. (The book doesn't go into details, only that some of them failed to find 'kindred spirits' in their nursing homes - and you feel a surge of compassion for these clever women, aching for intelligent company and offered what? Bingo?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stromata VINE VOICE on 17 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Thesis...Mass Observation Unit....all sounds such an unlikely premise for an absorbing read, but this book is exactly that. Jenna Bailey uncovered the story of the CCC (the Cooperative Correspondence Club), a group of women coping with family life during wartime Britain in the 1940s and after, whilst searching for a suitable subject for her Masters thesis. The CCC was formed when a cry of help in the shape of a letter to `Nursery World' magazine was answered by an assortment of other lively, intelligent women eager to connect with a world outside of domestic drudgery and child rearing.

`Can Any Mother Help Me?' is part history, how women coped during that period and what was expected of them, and part biography, each of the participants have really rather interesting lives. A well presented and rivetting read - highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Harry S. Rowlands on 21 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. As it traces the lives of these so articulate ladies from the mid 1930's and beyond it is an invaluable social history. These letters so beautifully written are funny, poignant, illuminating and finally so sad as the trials of life and finally old age are endured. The author is to be complemented on her sensitive organisation of the material.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amy Bell on 31 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. As a mother I know how isolating being at home can be, and this books gives a great example of how women used their ingenuity to keep in touch in the days before cheap technology. The stories are wonderful, and I felt I really got to know the women, even though they were anonymous. A great read, and can be read in little bursts if you don't have much time!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Mary Smith on 3 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across this book by accident while browsing and bought it on impulse and am so glad I did. It's a wonderful book which provides a fascinating insight into the lives of a group of intelligent women from all over Britain who contributed to a secret magazine. It started in 1935 when a young mum wrote a letter to a magazine saying she was lonely and bored and asking if any mother could help her. Women responded to her plea and the Cooperative Correspondence Club came into existence. Author Jenna Bailey found their correspondence in the Mass Observation archive and put the book together.
It is a fascinating piece of social history and it's engaging and funny and moving. The women write honestly and openly about their lives - marriage, childbirth, the end of dreams, the loneliness of being a wife when a woman's place was in the home and by the end of the book you feel you've known them for years. It will still strike a chord with many women today - especially women who write. Reviewed by Mary Smith author of No More Mulberries
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback